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