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Polish pope still a rock star, not just at home

Before selfie-snapping Francis, there was John Paul II, the charismatic Polish pope who made a name for himself by circling the globe and talking to anyone and everyone. "He broke protocol. I know that security had trouble keeping an eye on him. He sometimes wandered off when he felt like it," Warsaw sociologist Pawel Boryszewski said of the soon-to-be saint who died in 2005.

John Paul II: beloved pope who left reformists cold

Pope John Paul II, who will be made a saint on April 27 along with John XXIII, was an inspirational figure who helped topple communism but alienated many with his conservative views. The first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years, and the first from eastern Europe, Polish Karol Wojtyla was immensely popular, eschewing the pomp that surrounded his predecessors and seeking contact with ordinary people.

Bibles to be handed out on St Peter's Square

The pilgrims and tourists who flock to St Peter's Square every week to see Pope Francis are in for a surprise this Sunday -- pocket bibles handed out following a reprimand from the Roman pontiff himself. Volunteers on the famous Vatican piazza will hand out thousands of Italian copies of the New Testament and the Acts of the Apostles before Francis delivers his weekly Angelus prayer and address from a balcony.

Bibles to be handed out on St Peter's Square

The pilgrims and tourists who flock to St Peter's Square every week to see Pope Francis are in for a surprise this Sunday -- pocket bibles handed out following a reprimand from the Roman pontiff himself. Volunteers on the famous Vatican piazza will hand out thousands of Italian copies of the New Testament and the Acts of the Apostles before Francis delivers his weekly Angelus prayer and address from a balcony.

Baby George gets orb as pope, queen exchange gifts

Pope Francis gave Britain's baby Prince George a royal orb in lapis lazuli with a silver cross on Thursday when he met the young royal's great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II for the first time. The pope presented the British monarch with the blue sphere for Prince William and his wife Catherine's 8-month old baby during an unusual exchange of gifts between the Anglican and Catholic leaders. "It's for the little boy," Francis said, to which the queen replied: "That's very nice, he will be thrilled by that when he's a little older."

Pope gives Britain's baby Prince George a royal orb

Pope Francis gave Britain's baby Prince George a royal orb in lapis lazuli with a silver cross on Thursday when he met the young royal's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II for the first time. The pope presented the British monarch with the blue sphere topped with a cross for Prince William and his wife Catherine's 8-month old baby. The orb is an emblem of royal power which the ancient Romans used to represent the universe, before it was adapted by Christians who added a cross on top to represent the world under Christianity.

Hispanic delegation that visited pope feels trip was a success

Chicago, Mar 31 (EFE).- The delegation of Hispanic Catholics who traveled to The Vatican to ask Pope Francis to help them put an end to deportations called their visit a success. "We're very happy, we think we achieved our objective of issuing a call of hope to maintain the morale of almost 12 million undocumented people in our country," Rev. Marco A. Mercado told Efe upon his return from Rome.

Obama invites pope to White House

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - President Barack Obama met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and invited the pontiff to visit the White House. Obama made the spontaneous invitation as he was giving Francis a symbolic gift of seeds from the White House garden after 50 minutes of private talks in the pope's library. "If you have a chance, you can come to the White House and you can see the garden," Obama said to the pope as he was explaining the gift in the presence of reporters.

Pope tells mafia to 'stop doing evil'

Pope Francis called on the "men and women of the mafia" to stop doing evil during a ceremony on Friday to remember the victims of organised crime. "Change your way of life. Stop doing evil, and convert," the pontiff said, telling Italy's mobsters to relinquish their "blood-stained money" which "cannot be taken into paradise." jlv/ide/cc

Quotes of Pope Francis from his first year

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Thursday marks the first anniversary of the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as Pope Francis, the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years. Below are some memorable quotes from the pontiff, arranged in chronological order. ------
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