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Pope Francis greets the crowd during an audience with St Padre Pio prayer groups (CNS)

Members of the groups gathered in Rome to venerate the relics of St Padre Pio and St Leopold Mandic

Pope Francis poses with UN troops from Argentina during his general audience in St Peter's Square (CNS)

The Pope continued a series of talks dedicated to divine mercy in St Peter’s Square

Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on the weekend (CNS)

Pope Francis spoke to the faithful in St Peter’s Square on Sunday

Circus members greet Pope Francis after their performance during Wednesday's general audience in St Peter's Square (CNS)

Circus performers entertained the Pontiff and the faithful during Wednesday’s general audience

The lady gave birth yesterday morning in St Peter's Square (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The woman has been offered a place at a women’s shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity

Tourists take a photograph in St Peter's Square (AP)

The Prefecture of the Papal Household said that 3.2 million pilgrims visited this year compared with 5.9 million the year before

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

An 82ft Bavarian fir tree is already in place ready to mark the beginning of the Holy Year

Pope Francis (AP)

Pope Francis addressed the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday

French peacekeeping soldiers patrolling the city of Bangui in Central African Republic in September (PA)

Francis is due to visit the troubled country later this month

Pope Francis waves as he leaves at the end of the synod  (AP)

The Pope referred to the conclusion of the synod on the family during his Angelus address