PUEBLO, Colo. - For the first time in nearly 600 years, a pope is stepping down.
Eighty-five-year-old Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday morning he plans to resign Feb. 28. He says he no longer has the physical strength to do the job. The news comes just before Lent.
"It just broke my heart," said Catherine Mondragon, a Catholic from Pueblo.
Bishop of Pueblo Fernando Isern said, in part, in a statement: "We in the Diocese of Pueblo join the Church across the world in giving God heartfelt thanks for the wisdom, integrity and graciousness of His Holiness' leadership...."
Under Pope Benedict, the church saw some of its biggest changes since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The pope changed some of the wording during the masses because he said he wanted it to be more faithful to the original Latin version.
Mondragon has been volunteering at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo for seven years. She's sad to see the pope leave but says it won't change her daily life as a Catholic.
"Something had to give. Something very important to him to step down at that time," Mondragon said.
One chapter is closing, but the traditions of the church continue through the generations.
"For us Catholics, we do pray for the pope that everything will be okay in his world," said Alex Sandoval of Pueblo.
In 2005, Pope Benedict became the oldest pope to be elected at 78 years old.