ST. LOUIS – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the first pontiff to resign the papacy in nearly 600 years, was laid to rest Thursday in Vatican City. Pope Francis and tens of thousands of believers said goodbye to the late pontiff during a requiem mass at St. Peter’s Square.

In St. Louis, Catholics also came together to honor the life and service of Pope Benedict. A mass of remembrance was celebrated by St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski, honoring the late pope’s contributions to the Catholic Church.

“As we comment Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to the Lord, let us continue to be inspired by writings and by his witness,” Archbishop Rosanski said in his homily.

After the mass, Adam Ybarra remembered a special moment with the late pope.

“I actually had the opportunity to travel to Rome the year he was elected Pope, and I remember standing outside of St. Peter’s Basilica and shaking his hand,” he said.

As a missionary with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, Ybarra says even young people were influenced by Pope Benedict.

“Just how his influence on the church, not only on the intellectual standpoint, but on the heart level, really helped to engage a lot of the young people we were working with,” he said.

Many at the Cathedral Basilica were young Catholics in town for the SEEK 23 national conference. They reflected on the legacy of a pope that many knew as children.

“The more that I hear, the more that I see he was truly a great man for us, for the Catholic Church, and a good inspiration,” Wyatt Coyle said.

“I think he’s done a lot for us. I think a lot of people look up to him. He was a very influential figure. He could even be a saint or a doctor of the church one day. He’s a very smart man,” said Ryan Pope.