Jan. 1 - Pope Francis presides over New Year Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Pope Francis on Wednesday marked the start of the new year celebrating mass in St. Peter's Basilica. Crowds in the packed basilica held out their mobile phones, iPads and cameras as Francis arrived for the solemn mass. The pope began his homily reading an ancient blessing which God gave to Moses to hand on to Aaron and his sons. "There is no more meaningful time than the beginning of a new year to hear these words of blessing: they will accompany our journey through the year opening up before us. They are words of strength, courage and hope. Not an illusory hope, based on frail human promises, or a naïve hope which presumes that the future will be better simply because it is the future. Rather, it is a hope that has its foundation precisely in God's blessing," Francis said. The pontiff, who looked tired, has had a hectic Christmas schedule. The cycle of the Christmas liturgies will conclude on January 6 with Mass celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, marking the baptism of Jesus, as well as a baptism of newborns in the Sistine Chapel.