VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis delivered a plea for peace in his first Easter Sunday message to the world, decrying the seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula after celebrating Mass at an outdoor altar before more than 250,000 people in flower-bedecked St. Peter’s Square.
Francis shared in his flock’s exuberance as they celebrated Christianity’s core belief that Jesus Christ rose from the dead following crucifixion. After Mass, he stepped aboard an open-topped white popemobile for a cheerful spin through the joyous crowd, kissing babies and patting children on the head.
As he was getting from the crowed, one admirer, Argentina’s Saints of San Lorenzo, insisted that Francis take a team jersey he was waving at the pontiff. A delighted Francis obliged, briefly holding up the shirt, and the crowd roared in approval.