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Pope Francis is presented with a gift by Matias Lammens, president of San Lorenzo in St Peter's Square, earlier this year Below: The Pope meets three homeless men at the Vatican on the morning of his birthday (CNS)

Pontiff has breakfast with group of homeless people on the morning of his 77th birthday

The Queen Fabiola Children's Hospital in Brussels (PA)

The senate voted 50-17 in favour of the legislation

A girl stands a destroyed building in Syria (CNS)

Bishop Alnemeh demands the immediate release of the nuns ‘who have done no harm to anyone’

Cardinal Oswald Gracias is one of the Pope's eight closest cardinal-advisers (AP)

One of the Pope’s advisers speaks out after Supreme Court in India restores ban on homosexual acts

The Time magazine Person of the Year cover

‘Septuagenarian superstar’ Francis picked from shortlist that included Edward Snowden and Miley Cyrus

Bishop Stephen Robson

Bishop Stephen Robson to lead Dunkeld diocese

Nelson Mandela greets John Paul II  in Johannesburg in 1995 (AP)

Catholics supported former South African president’s struggle against apartheid

Maaloula is near the war-torn capital city of Damascus (CNS)

Syrian nuns moved to rebel-held town

The 12 nuns have been moved from Maaloula to the nearby town of Yabroud

Pope Francis thanked the religious for their 'testimony' (AP)

Pope praises ‘spirit of faith’ of religious orders

Archbishop Bernard Longley (Mazur/

‘We need to look at the world not as an enemy that is indifferent to the Gospel,’ says Archbishop Longley