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Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Celebrating Easter Sunday, Christianity's most joyous day, Pope Francis stood under sunny skies before a flock so numerous they overflowed the flower-bedecked St. Peter's Square.

Even before Mass began in late morning, more than 100,000 tourist, Romans and pilgrims, young and old, had turned out for the Mass. Many more streamed in throughout the ceremony.

The broad boulevard leading from the square to the Tiber river filled up with the faithful and the curious, trying to catch a glimpse of the pontiff at the altar under a canopy erected on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica.

A rainstorm had lashed Rome on Saturday night, with thunder competing with the sound of hymns when Francis led a vigil service in St. Peter's Basilica. Dawn brought clear skies and warm temperatures for Easter, the culmination of Holy Week, the day which marks the Christian belief that Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion.

This year the Roman Catholic church's celebration of Easter coincided with that of the Orthodox church and some of the hymns at the Vatican Mass were in Russian.

Francis didn't give a homily, since traditionally pontiffs' main remarks on Easter come during the noon-time "Urbi et Orbi" (Latin for 'to the city and the world') address.

Reflecting the worldwide reach of the Catholic church, faithful read aloud prayers and passages from the Bible in Hindu, French, Chinese, German, Korean, Spanish, Italian and English.


Follow Frances D'Emilio on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio

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noelwinter8 April 20 2014 at 10:22 AM

No matter what one believes or dpesn`t, for me and our family this is a glorious day. as Roman Catholic`s we worship Jesus/God through the church.
Today we celebrate Christ`s Resurrection and its also a happy fun filled day for God``s children along with Easter baskets and Chocolate Bunny`s. I post many blessings to all who worship HUM Jesus Christ.

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myste98325 April 20 2014 at 10:24 AM

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
sagan9999 myste98325 April 20 2014 at 11:58 AM

The term lord was a Roman term used to address the Roman Caesar's... The Gods of the Christian myth are Roman Caesar's
Father= Vespasian
Son= Titus
Holy Ghost= Domitian
It is all explained in the Book Caesar's Messiah... by Joe Atwill.

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big dog April 20 2014 at 11:03 AM

God bless this Pope.
My hurch is back.

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1 reply
Mike big dog April 20 2014 at 11:46 AM

What's a hurch?

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1 reply
RAY Mike April 20 2014 at 12:32 PM

You know what big dog meant Mike!!! It's a called a typo error

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ddhxx April 20 2014 at 9:47 AM

What happened to Portuguese? Ridiculous!

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Chucky1 April 20 2014 at 11:10 AM

Grant unto me the simple faith of a child along with a loving relationship with thee O 'Lord, thy son and thy holy spirit. As adults we easily question our existence in relation to religion. The battles between each other to disapprove or approve the existence of a supreme being has gone on for centuries and will continue to do so. Unfortunately it is humankind that used religion as a tool to subvert, punish and control others. Even Christ spoke against the priests creating laws that served the priest rather then God. There are messages of salvation that are out there written in plain language and written to encourage people to serve each other in the name of God and to do so unselfishly without judgment and pride but, with compassion and humility. And you can do this even if you don't believe in a supreme being.

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2 replies
lindiana12 Chucky1 April 20 2014 at 11:24 AM

that says it all

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netecutli Chucky1 April 20 2014 at 11:26 AM

The catholic church is not one to follow the bible. They make up **** as they go.

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galassog April 20 2014 at 12:25 PM

Right now I am home bound with a broken shoulder, I watched all of Pope Francis celebrating
the Holy Week. It was very inspiring. He warms my heart as Pope JOhn Paul 11 does even now.
If I could I would be celebrating at the Vatican. For next week I will have a party honoring
St. John Paul canonazation. I wish all a Happy and Blessed Easter.

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2 replies
bandicoot5 galassog April 20 2014 at 12:47 PM

Happy Easter! May your shoulder mend quickly.

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stlplyr galassog April 21 2014 at 12:29 AM

You need to find out where John Paul II is now. Look it up It's on here.

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jonboy1952 April 20 2014 at 12:25 PM

It being Easter Sunday, you would think AOL would have some News that would warrant 1 or 2 in there countdown rather than 23rd and last. Wether they want to admit it or not, this is a majority Christian nation. Bias reporting, and NOT reporting isn't journalism, Catholics are not the only denomination of Christians celebrating this belief.

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chefjohnp April 20 2014 at 9:13 AM

A very Happy Easter to all, especially my atheist friends. Hey, I didn't believe that the '69 Mets could perform a miracle, and they did! So hang in there, God is loving you right at this very moment. Expect a miracle in your life.......

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2 replies
hatpillbill chefjohnp April 20 2014 at 10:15 AM

If you are happy with your religion, then fine. As for me, I prefer to think for myself, and remain an atheist.

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sagan9999 chefjohnp April 20 2014 at 1:06 PM

if winning a ball game is proof of a miracle... you are a very dumb person..

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JIM ISHOO April 20 2014 at 11:55 AM

God bless the Pope.

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itchy1958 April 20 2014 at 8:40 AM


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1 reply
pboucard50 itchy1958 April 20 2014 at 9:54 AM

He was just drunk and woke up in a cave.

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