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Pope Francis gives a thumbs up as he leaves his general audience in St Peter's Square. Below, Flight Time Lang of the Harlem Globetrotters helps Pope Francis spin a ball (Photos: CNS and AP)

Francis says that the sacrament of marriage is a ‘great act of faith’

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience, in St Peter's Square today (PA)

Pope Francis made the appeal during his general audience today

Santa Claus: a commercialised symbol of Christmas (Photo: PA)

Or does that lessen the wonder and magic of Christmas?

Twenty-third Sunday of the Year: Wisdom 9:13-18; Phil 9-10 & 12-17; Lk 14:25-33