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Pope: Christian love isn't soap-opera swoon, it's generous, concrete

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Christians must love through concrete actions, not words, which are just whisked away in the wind, Pope Francis said.

True love knows it's more important to give -- "give things, give life, give oneself to God and others" -- than receive, the pope said in his homily Thursday during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

Christian love is generous and real, it's not some dreamy romantic notion and "not the love on soap operas," he said, according to Vatican Radio.

Pope meets baby Jesus, carries lamb during visit to live Nativity scene

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Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers and bleating, baying animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem.

He even let a lamb rest on his shoulders and greeted a tiny baby named Francis, who played the part of Jesus, when he visited a live Nativity scene Monday at the Church of St. Alfonso Maria dei Liguori on the northern outskirts of Rome.

Guard faith with 'spiritual cunning,' says pope

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Christians should go out into the world to follow God but use "holy cunning" to guard against the snares of temptation, Pope Francis said.

The pope made the remarks at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Monday on the feast of the Epiphany, which marks the manifestation of Jesus as savior to the world.

In his homily, the pope said that life is a journey, and like the three Wise Men, or Magi, people are looking for the "fullness of truth and of love which we Christians recognize in Jesus, the light of the world."

Pope: Time to stop violence, discord, and begin making peace at home

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Welcoming in a new year, Pope Francis said it was time to stop provoking and ignoring violence, tragedy and conflict in the world, and begin building peace at home.

"Justice and peace at home, among us -- you begin at home and then you move on to all of humanity. But we have to start at home," he said Jan. 1, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.

Man dies after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square

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An unidentified 51-year-old man died Sunday, three days after setting himself on fire in St. Peter's Square.

Italian news reports said the man, who had third-degree burns on almost 50 percent of his body, died at Rome's Sant'Eugenio Hospital.

At about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 19, the man entered St. Peter's Square carrying a bottle of gasoline. At the end of the colonnade near Piazza Pio XII, he doused himself with the fuel and lit himself aflame.

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April 11-24, 2014

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