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Pope Francis Treats Faithful To Copies Of The Gospels In St. Peter's Square

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POPE FRANCIS
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - APRIL 06: A nun showes a copy of a pocket-sized book of the Gospel distributed in St. Peter's Square during the Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus blessing on April 6, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis has urged the faithful to carry a pocket-sized book of the Gospels and to read it often to meditate on Jesus' words and deeds. To help put this suggestion into practice, and communicating a clear message, this Sunday during the Angelus in St. Peter's Square, several | Franco Origlia via Getty Images

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square have been treated to gifts from Pope Francis — pocket-sized copies of the Gospels which he hopes they'll keep handy and read daily.

The scriptures were handed out by volunteers after the pope's traditional Sunday appearance to pilgrims and tourists in the square.

The pope did ask for something in return, telling them: "In exchange for this gift, perform an act of charity." He said such an act might be praying for an enemy, for example.

Last fall, the pope had volunteers distribute free rosaries in boxes resembling pill packets, likening them to spiritual medicine.

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