Long-standing traditions are observed as Christians the world over commemorate Easter.
Pope Francis has led the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics into Easter for the third time.
On Saturday (April 4), the pontiff used a vigil Mass at the Vatican to urge followers to shun indifference and boldly live their faith.
The Cross of Christ is not a defeat: the Cross is love and mercy.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 3, 2015
As usual, he performed baptisms on late entries to the Church.
Among those being baptised were a 13-year-old Cambodian girl and a 66-year-old woman from Kenya – the country where al-Shabaab militants singled out Christians in a bloody attack on a university in the week leading up to Easter.
In Bethlehem, Christian worshippers attended a traditional candle-lit vigil at the Church of the Nativity.
For believers, the service marks the first celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion.
The faithful believe the church stands over Jesus’ birthplace, which is said to lie in a grotto beneath the holy building.