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Pope Francis stops for prayer at Rome basilica

/ 04:36 PM March 14, 2013

Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio, elected Pope Francis I (center) appears at the window of St Peter’s Basilica’s balcony after being elected the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP/VINCENZO PINTO

ROME—Pope Francis stopped into a Rome Basilica on Thursday for private prayer on his first full day as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church following his historic election.

The 76-year-old Argentine pope spent about half an hour at Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome’s “big four” basilicas.

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He was accompanied by around a dozen people including Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, who is both head of the papal household and the personal secretary of Francis’s predecessor Benedict XVI.

On Wednesday Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, called for “fraternity” among the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Pope Francis, Religion, Vatican
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