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Pope Francis blesses a boy during his general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican (Photo: CNS)

Don’t spread hate, make friends instead, the Pope says in a Year of Mercy message

Pope Francis spreads incense on the statue of Baby Jesus as he arrives to celebrate a Mass for families (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Learn from baby Jesus, Pope says

People can ‘make baby Jesus smile by demonstrating our love and our joy because he is among us’

Pope Francis leaves at the end of the Mass for families (AP)

Francis urges parents to bless their children at the beginning and end of each day

Pope Francis greets a baby during the audience to exchange Christmas greetings with Vatican employees in Paul VI hall (CNS)

Francis offered pre-Christmas greetings to Vatican workers and their family members at the Paul VI hall

Pope Francis speaks during the traditional greeting to the Roman Curia in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican (CNS)

The Pope gave his annual talk to the Curia on Monday

Former archbishop Józef Wesołowski pictured in Santo Domingo in 2009 (CNS)

Former archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, was taken ill shortly before he was due to stand trial

Franciscan Brother Juan Turios of Action Network prays in 2013 with immigration reform advocates in Washington (CNS)

In the past 50 years, the number of religious brothers has decreased drastically

The UN's COP21 Climate Change Conference (AP)

Pope Francis has said it would be ‘tragic’ if special interests won out over the common good

The Pope will visit  Italy on the annual day for Christian-Jewish dialogue (CNS)

Pope to visit Rome’s Jewish community

Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit Rome’s synagogue

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he exits the Baptistry in Florence (AP)

‘I want a happy Church with the face of a mother, who understands, accompanies, caresses,’ Holy Father tells Italian Catholics