Pope Francis delivers first mass

Pope Francis has delivered his first mass as pontiff after becoming the first ever pope from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

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Pope Francis tweets for the first time

Pope Francis has tweeted for the first time since he was elected last Wednesday:

The tweet was retweeted some 7,000 times in its first half hour of existence.

The same @Pontifex account was used to declare that a new pope had been elected with the words "HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM," although this has now been deleted.

Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, used the same account for his first tweet: "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."

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Pope Francis delivers prayer to crowds in Vatican

Pope Francis is making his first speech from the balcony overlooking St Peter's Square in the Vatican.

Pope Francis addressing the crowd in St Peter's Square Credit: Reuters

The pontiff spoke for a short time before giving The Angelus prayer to the assembled crowds.

He repeated his central message that "the Lord never tires of forgiving" several times.

Newly elected Pope Francis greets crowds gathered in the Vatican before his address Credit: REUTERS/CTV via REUTERS TV

He got a laugh from the crowd when he joked that he wasn't trying to promote a book written by a cardinal that he made reference to in his speech.

Nuns await the blessing of newly elected Pope Francis in St Peter's Square Credit: REUTERS/Paul Hanna

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