If there is a news that will shake the world, this is it. I myself was very surprised, but I can rather expect the news. It is not the first that a Pope has resigned, although extremely rare (Canon Law does allow Popes to retire), and the last to resign was Pope Gregory XII in 1415 who resigned to end the Great Schism in the Church, and allow the Church to formally reunite again, and another Pope to resign was the great Pope St. Celestine V, who was elected as Pope at a very old age, just like our current Pope Benedict XVI, and showed example through his great leadership and great holiness. He also resigned due to old age, and wished to spend the rest of his life in prayer and quietness, just like our current Pope Benedict XVI wished to do.
Pope Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger before his election as the Bishop of Rome, has repeatedly asked the late Pope John Paul II then to be allowed to retire and return to his native Bavaria, which because of his election as the Bishop of Rome, was not able to do so. Now that Holy Father will retire at the end of this month, let us all pray for him, that he can have a great and fulfilling holy life dedicated in prayer to God, and may God be with him always, and also with his successor, whoever it will be. Amen!