Brief: Pope celebrates Easter at the Vatican

Associate Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis marked Christianity’s most joyous day with a passionate plea for world peace, celebrating his first Easter Sunday as pontiff in the enthusiastic company of more than 250,000 people who overflowed from St. Peter’s Square.

With eloquent words in his Easter message, Francis lamented enduring conflicts in the Middle East, on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere and remembered the world’s neediest people.

With physical gestures, he illustrated the personal, down-to-earth caring he brings as a pastor to this new papacy – cradling a disabled child held out to him in the crowd and delightedly accepting a surprise gift thrust at him, a Saints of San Lorenzo soccer jersey.