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Pope Francis holds the book of the Gospel as he celebrates the Christmas Eve Mass in St Peter's Basilica (AP)

The Pope’s homily from Midnight Mass in St Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on Christmas Eve (CNS)

The Pontiff has celebrated the traditional Midnight Mass at St Peter’s Basilica

Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican last week (CNS)

Pope Francis has been selected to as the 2016 recipient of Germany’s Charlemagne Prize

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (AP)

President Rouhani will travel to Rome after a previously scheduled visit was cancelled after Paris attacks

Archbishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezno, Poland, attends a youth meeting in early June in Lednica, Poland  (CNS)

Poland’s Catholic primate said Francis understands ‘pastoral realities’

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 (CNS)

The resolution calls for a ceasefire, the establishment of a unity government and the calling of elections

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

A lonely old man longs to see his family in Edeka’s shocking Christmas advert

Help tackle the plague of loneliness

Even when you know that elderly isolation is a problem in Britain, the statistics are still heartbreaking

Members of the Missionaries of Charity attend a service marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in 2010 (CNS)

Her canonisation will be the Year of Mercy’s crowning moment