Pope Francis led thousands of pilgrims who had gathered in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican to celebrate Easter. He encouraged people to hold fast in their hearts to faith despite all the diseases, war and hatred in world.
“In this land of pain, of tragedies, amid so many calamities, the faith in the resurrected Christ gives us a meaning, [it allows us] to look beyond,” the Pope told crowds. “You, little pebble, have a reason in life. Because you’re a pebble holding on to the cornerstone, that stone that evilness of sin has discarded,” he added.
The pontiff broke with tradition and delivered an off-the-cuff homily for Easter Sunday, one of the very few improvised speeches in such a solemn setting from a pope who’s used to leaving his prepared remarks aside to speak from the heart on more informal occasions.
Pope had also led the world’s Roman Catholics into Easter Vigil mass on Saturday, urged them not to look away from the poor, the immigrant treated with contempt and the pain of the elderly desperate with loneliness.
Francis has used the period leading up to Easter to stress his vision of service to the neediest.