Faithful flock to Vatican for pope's Christmas Eve Mass
VATICAN CITY - Catholic faithful are flocking to the Vatican under clear skies on a cool night to take their seats in St. Peter's Basilica for Christmas Eve Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.
The late evening service in the splendor of the basilica on Sunday was scheduled as the pope's first public Christmas appearance.
Francis is set to his Christmas Day message "urbi et orbi" - Latin for "to the city and to the world" - on Monday from the central loggia of the basilica overlooking St. Peter's Square. The message traditionally notes world events and trouble spots, while aiming to strike a hopeful note as the year winds down.