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Pope Francis's first days in office


Pope Francis, the first Latin American leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, has a packed agenda for his first days as pontiff.

Here are the main events:

THURSDAY: Prays to the Virgin Mary -- Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said this could be in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.

At 1600 GMT presides over a Eucharistic Concelebration with the 115 cardinal electors in the Sistine Chapel.

FRIDAY: Audience with the cardinals in the ornate 16th-century Clementine Hall in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. 1000 GMT.

SATURDAY: Meets Vatican journalists and social communication teams at 1000 GMT in the Paul VI Audience Hall, where popes usually hold their weekly general audiences.

SUNDAY: Recites his first Angelus prayer from a window of the papal apartments at 1100 GMT, with thousands expected to gather in St Peter's Square below.

TUESDAY, March 19: Papal inauguration mass on St Joseph's Day in St Peter's Square. 0830 GMT.

WEDNESDAY, March 20: Audience with the Fraternal Delegation.

Francis is expected to meet with his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the coming days, Lombardi said.