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Pope Francis walks past an image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus after laying a white rose in front of it in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

As Mary is, so all Christians should aspire to be

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience (AP)

At his general audience, Pope Francis gave the first in a series of talks about hope

Pope Francis (CNS)

During a morning Mass homily, the Pope prayed for the grace ‘to await Christmas sincerely recognising our wounds and sins’

A woman wipes her tears during a ceremony in the Saint George church in Bashiqa, Iraq (AP)

Displaced Christians are praying for relatives they had to leave behind in Iraq

Pope Francis blesses pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday (AP)

Morning Catholic must-reads: 05/12/16

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

The Vatican Christmas tree is positioned in St Peter's Square (CNS)

An 82-feet-tall Christmas tree was erected in St Peter’s Square last week

Pope Francis speaking in St Peter's Square on Sunday (AP)

Francis spoke in St Peter’s Square on the First Sunday of Advent

Pope Francis observes the Nativity scene in 2013 (AP)

The boat ‘represents tradition’ as well as the reality of migrants crossing the Mediterranean

Pope Francis prays in front of a Nativity scene during a visit to the  Franciscan shrine in Greccio, Italy (CNS)

Francis made a surprise visit to the place where St Francis of Assisi created the world’s first Nativity scene

Bishop Anthony Fisher was taken ill before Christmas (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Archbishop Fisher was hospitalised after contracting Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition that affects the nervous system