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The new pope has rounded off Easter celebrations on Monday with prayers and a message for the huge crowds that turned out in St Peter’s Square.
Speaking from a window of the Vatican he urged the faithful to use the grace they received during Easter Sunday in their daily lives:
Pope Francis called on God to “grant to his followers the ability to hold fast in their lives to the Sacrament they have received in faith”.
He continued: “The Baptism that makes us children of God, and the Eucharist that unites us to Christ, must become life. That is to say: they must be reflected in attitudes, behaviors, actions and choices.”
Braving chilly and cloudy weather, the crowds packed into the square in the centre of Rome in much greater numbers than in recent Easters, keen to see the new pontiff who is bringing a more simple and personal style to the papacy.
Pope Francis acknowledged the thousands of cheering well-wishers with thanks to the many “pilgrims from various continents who have come to participate in the prayers” and he signed off with his trademark blessing combined with wishing them all a good lunch.