August 23, 2014
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has been celebrating Christianity's most joyous and hopeful day before an overflow crowd in St. Peter's Square.
Francis celebrated Mass, praying for peace dialogue in Ukraine and Syria and for a halt to "brutal terrorist attacks" in parts of Nigeria that have targeted many Christians.
More than 150,000 tourists - Romans and pilgrims, young and old - turned out on a sunny day at the Vatican.
A rainstorm had lashed Rome on Saturday night, with thunder competing with the sound of hymns when Francis led a vigil service in St. Peter's Basilica. Dawn brought clear skies and warm temperatures.
This year, the Roman Catholic church's celebration of Easter coincides with that of the Orthodox church. Some of the hymns at the Vatican Mass were in Russian.
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