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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

Pope Francis greets the crowd after praying the Angelus (CNS)

Pope Francis has urged Catholics to say “no’ to violence

Civilians amid the rubble after shelling in Aleppo (CNS)

Pope Francis calls again for an end to the fighting in Syria

Pope Francis waves to the crowd in St Peter's Square as he arrives to lead the Angelus (CNS)

Pope makes plea for unity during Angelus address