Atop a jeep, Pope Francis stepped out of the vehicle and kissed the head of a physically disabled man. The faithful gathered at the square held up their babies and young ones for the pope to kiss and he complied.
Pope Francis chose a jeep as opposed to the traditional popemobile which is fitted with bulletproof glass, having been installed after a botched assassination attempt on John Paul II in 1981. The jeep gave him closer contact with the faithful and he made his way freely round the square, but dozens of security officers walked alongside the jeep.
‘Mass Inaugurating the Petrine Minsistry of the Bishop of Rome,’ as the mass is officially referred to is expected to start at 9.30am (4.30am ET) local time and will last for over 2 hours.