Pope Francis celebrates Easter Mass at the Vatican

By Lawrence Audu

Thousands of Catholic faithful have gathered at St. Peter’s Square after heavy security checks to participate in Easter Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis opened Easter festivities with a Tweet to his global flock: “Our faith is born on Easter morning: Jesus is alive! The experience is at the heart of the Christian message.”

Pilgrims from around the world and Italy gathered in the square decorated with spring flowers to hear Francis deliver the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and to the world) Easter message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Security precautions included bag checks and metal detector wands for everyone entering the square. The Via Conciliazione avenue leading to the Vatican as well as smaller adjoining streets were closed to traffic.