March 14, 2013
Pope Francis puts flowers on the altar Thursday inside St. Mary Major Basilica, in Rome. Pope Francis opened his first morning as pontiff by praying at Rome’s main basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a day after cardinals elected him the first pope from the Americas in a bid to revive a Catholic Church in crisis and give it a preacher with a humble touch.
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Pope Francis put his humility on display during his first day as pontiff Thursday, stopping by his hotel to pick up his luggage and pay the bill himself in a decidedly different style of papacy than his tradition-minded predecessor who tended to stay ensconced in the frescoed halls of the Vatican.