The pope was given a warm and enthusiastic welcome by a crowd of more than 100,000 pilgrims in St Peter’s Square, gathered to witness his first Angelus devotion as pontiff.
In his address before the prayers he concentrated on the themes of mercy and forgiveness.
“Never forget this,” he said. “The Lord never tires of forgiving. It is we who tire of asking to be forgiven.” He concluded: “Have a good Sunday and have a good lunch.”
The tone of the pope’s address reflected a style that has been characterised by many as unpretentious and good-natured – a pope of the people.
As with his first public papal appearance after being elected by the conclave of cardinals on Wednesday, he asked the crowd to pray for him.