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Pope Francis gives a lamb a lift during a  visit to a Nativity scene at the Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori Below: Francis chats to two children taking part in the nativity (CNS)

Pope visits live Nativity scene

Francis lets a lamb rest on his shoulders during visit to Rome church

Pilgrims pack Copacabana beach for World Youth Day's closing Mass (AP)

Francis recognises ‘great effort’ made by the Local Organising Committee in Rio

Pope Francis waves at the crowd yesterday

Pope to visit Holy Land on May 24

Francis makes announcement on 50th anniversary of Paul’s Jerusalem meeting

Pope Francis smiles during Mass at the Church of the Gesu in Rome Below: The Pontiff with Father Adolfo Nicolas outside the church (CNS)

‘True faith is marked by the daring desire to change the world,’ says Pontiff

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope Francis shares his thoughts on subjects including vocations, prophesising and formations

Pope Francis (AP)

Comments made by Pontiff to leaders of religious orders in November published by Jesuit journal

'Much of the excitement in the press derives from the conviction that Francis is a Pope of change'

In 2014 the Pope must play his role as teacher of the faith with clarity and courage

Robert Hugh Benson, author of Lord of the World

Pope Francis referred to the apocalyptic fable, The Lord of the World, in November and Benedict XVI also frequently cited it

Pope Francis: 'Our witness must concentrate on the centre of our faith.'

Numbers released by Vatican show significant rise in attendance at papal events

Pope Francis announced the extraordinary synod in October last year  (CNS)

Francis gives thanks for the graces of 2013 on New Year’s Eve in St Peter’s Basilica