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Pope leads Catholics into Easter with vigil Mass

Updated : April 21, 2019 09:59 AM IST

Pope Francis led the world's Roman Catholics into Easter at a vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday night, urging the faithful to live not for transient things like wealth and success but for God. The largest church in Christendom was dark at the start of the long service as the pope carved into a candle the numbers of the year 2019 and the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - Alpha and Omega - signifying that God is the beginning and end of all things. Easter, the most important day in the Church's liturgical calendar, commemorates the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead. Francis, marking his seventh Easter season as pope, wove his homily around the Bible account of the women who went to Jesus' tomb only to find it empty and the large stone that had sealed it had been cast away.

Nuns hug after the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Nuns hug after the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Cardinals attend the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Cardinals attend the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis baptizes a faithful during the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis baptizes a faithful during the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A general view of the Easter vigil Mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
A general view of the Easter vigil Mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis holds a candle as he leads the Easter vigil mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Pope Francis holds a candle as he leads the Easter vigil mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Cardinals hold candles during the Easter vigil mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Cardinals hold candles during the Easter vigil mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Cardinals hold candles during the Easter vigil mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Cardinals hold candles during the Easter vigil mass led by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, March 31, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
Pope Francis holds the Bible as he leads the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis holds the Bible as he leads the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis leaves after the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis leaves after the Easter vigil Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
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