[Updated at 7:50 a.m. ET]
Speaking of Twitter, the pope -- who has collected more than 2 million Twitter followers on various language feeds since joining the social media service late last year -- will send his final tweet this afternoon Rome time, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi told reporters minutes ago.
Then, the account @Pontifex will go dormant until the next pope decides whether he wants to use it, Lombardi said.
[Updated at 7:36 a.m. ET]
The days ahead will be busy -- but publicly quiet -- for the cardinals who have to elect a new pope. A tweet by of them illustrates this.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi of Italy, who commentators have speculated might be a candidate for the papacy, has signaled to his Twitter followers that he'll be leaving them for a few days.
Cardinals are forbidden to communicate with the outside world -- now including by Twitter -- during the conclave to elect a new pope.
[Updated at 7:23 a.m. ET]
More than 140 cardinals were at this morning's meeting with the pope, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Roscia says at a press briefing.
That includes both cardinals who will be eligible to choose the next pope, and those who are not. To be eligible to vote in the conclave that is expected to begin in March, a cardinal must be under the age of 80.
Not all of the electors, however, were at today's meeting. Some cardinals from around the world have still to arrive at the Vatican for the coming conclave.
At least 115 cardinals are eligible. Benedict appointed 67 of them.
[Updated at 7:10 a.m. ET]
When the pope met with the cardinals this morning, many of them will be the ones who will chose his successor during a conclave that is expected to start at the Vatican sometime in March. (Some of the cardinals, on the other hand, are too old too be eligible to vote.)
Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired archbsihop of Los Angeles, was at the meeting. When he greeted the pope, he asked Benedict to pray for the people of Los Angeles, according to a tweet from Mahony.
"He grasped my hand and said "Yes"!!" Mahony tweeted.
[Updated at 6:57 a.m. ET]
Although this is his last day, the pope is still at work.
This includes receiving resignations and nominating bishops. Today he accepted the resignation of Mons. José Ángel Rova as bishop of Villa Maria, Argentina, and nominated Samuel Jofré to replace him.
He also nominated Mons. Joseph Dinh Duc Dao to be auxiliary bishop of Xuân Lôc, Vietnam - apparently his final official act as pope.
[Posted at 5:25 a.m. ET]
On the final day of his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI met with cardinals at the Vatican on Thursday, saying "I will continue to serve you in prayer."
After the pontiff completed his remarks, the cardinals greeted him individually, shaking hands and sharing a few words with the retiring head of the Catholic Church.
Benedict announced on February 11 that he would step down, becoming the first pontiff to leave the job alive in 598 years.