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Pope Francis greets worshippers in the pouring rain

Pope Francis praised worshippers for turning out to greet him at the Vatican in heavy rain after receiving a soaking himself.

The 76-year-old zipped around St. Peter's Square in his open-air jeep through a sea of brightly coloured umbrellas.

Looking damp and slightly weather-beaten, the pontiff told followers: "Congratulations for your courage under this rain."