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Pope Francis Offers Prayer, Rosary As Spiritual Medicine That's Good For The Heart

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POPE FRANCIS
Pope Francis shows a box containing a rosary during his Sunday Angelus from the window overlooking St.Peter's square on November 17, 2013 at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images) | ALBERTO PIZZOLI via Getty Images

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Joking that he's like a pharmacist, Pope Francis is promoting prayer as medicine for the heart.

Appearing on Sunday at his studio window, Francis held up a rosary in a box designed to resemble a packet of pills, before volunteers distributed thousands of those boxes, which feature a design of a human heart.

Francis said he was recommending reciting the rosary prayer as a "spiritual medicine" that is "good for the heart."

Francis' down-to-earth way of speaking, in a style ordinary people can readily understand, is drawing larger than usual crowds to St. Peter's Square for his traditional weekly appearances. About 80,000 tourists and Romans packed the square on Sunday.

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