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Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience today (CNS)

250 years ago Japanese Christians ‘survived with the grace of baptism,’ Pontiff tells general audience

Pope Francis passes circus performers before his general audience in St Peter's Square Below: Video of performance and  performers move past the Pope (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Francis tells faithful that baptism gives them ‘unwavering hope and strength’

The Vatican said that the motive was unknown (CNS)

The man is currently being treated in hospital for severe burns

The people and the stories making the news in what was a momentous year for the Church

Pope Francis (CNS)

Pope makes plea during general audience in St Peter’s Square

Francis at this morning's general audience in St Peter's Square (AP)

Today’s Catholic must-reads: 04/12/13

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

Pope Francis with Vinicio Riva

Vinicio Riva says he felt like he was in ‘paradise’ when the Pope embraced him

Pope Francis at an audience for families on Saturday (AP)

Pope urges couples to see marriage as a life-long journey

A nun runs in the relay race on the road leading to St Peter's Square (CNS)

Seminarians, Olympians and children take part in relay organised by Pontifical Council for Culture

Pope Francis greets people during his general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday (CNS)

Francis elaborates on ‘Church as mother’ theme during general audience