Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world on Monday Feb 11, 2013 when he announced his resignation. Cardinal Angelo Sodano said: "It was like a lightening bolt in a clear blue sky." Then, at 6:00 pm a lightening bold struck the Basilica of St. Peter.
Pope Benedict XVI To Resign February 28, Vatican Says
Pope Benedict XVI Resigns: Lightning Bolt Strikes St Peter's Basilica As Vatican Confirms Pontiff's Departure
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI came like "a bolt from the blue", according to the dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano.
And it wasn't just the Vatican and Catholic followers who were shocked.
Just hours after Pope Benedict XVII announced his resignation, a bolt of lightning came down from the heavens, hitting the dome of St Peter's Basilica.
The Renaissance church is one of the holiest Christian sites.
The Pope announced his intention to resign on February 28, which is when the selection process for a successor will begin, in the hope of appointing a new pontiff by Easter.
The Vatican said immediately after his resignation that Pope Benedict will go to Castel Gandolfo, a summer retreat south of Rome, and then would live in a cloistered monastery.