Pope Francis gives faithful pocket-sized copies of the Gospels
Pope Francis salutes as arrives at the San Gregorio Magno parish church in Rome, Sunday, April 6, 2014. (AP / Alessandra Tarantino)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, April 6, 2014 10:51AM EDT
VATICAN CITY -- Tens of thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square have been treated to gifts from Pope Francis -- pocket-sized copies of the Gospels which he hopes they'll keep handy and read daily.
The scriptures were handed out by volunteers after the pope's traditional Sunday appearance to pilgrims and tourists in the square.
The pope did ask for something in return, telling them: "In exchange for this gift, perform an act of charity." He said such an act might be praying for an enemy, for example.
Last fall, the pope had volunteers distribute free rosaries in boxes resembling pill packets, likening them to spiritual medicine.