People hold up their phones and cameras to take a photo of Pope Francis in Manila, Philippines. Pope Francis will visit venues across Leyte and Manila during his visit to the Philippines from January 15 – 19. The visit is expected to attract crowds in the millions as Filipino Catholics flock to catch a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church in the Philippines for the first time since 1995. The Pope will begin the tour in Manila, then travelling to Tacloban to visit areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan before returning to Manila to hold a mass at Rizal Park. The Philippines is the only Catholic majority nation in Asia with around 90 percent of the population professing the faith.
Franciscan monks wait for the arrival of Pope Francis before his general audience at St Peter’s Square on Wednesday at the Vatican
A woman holds a picture of Pope Francis while waiting for holy mass at a stadium at Daejeon, South Korea, on Friday. The Pope commemorated more than 300 people killed in a ferry disaster in April.
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Devotees carry a statue of Saint John the Baptist in the Philippines as they take part in a religious ritual known locally as “Taong Putik” while celebrating the feast day of their Catholic patron saint in the village of Bibiclat, north of Manila.
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Pilgrims in traditional Bavarian folk costumes attend an outdoor mass to celebrate Ascension at the open-air altar at Birkenstein on Thursday near Fischbachau, Germany
Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives at the Catholic hospice in Cesano Boscone, southwest of Milan, to begin community service for tax fraud. The billionaire tycoon, convicted last year and expelled from parliament, has been ordered to work once a week for up to a year as a volunteer in a hospice for Alzheimer’s patients.
New recruits of the Vatican’s elite Swiss Guard attend a swearing in ceremony at the Vatican. The Swiss Guard, founded in 1506, consists of 100 volunteers who must be of Swiss nationality, Catholic, single, at least 174cm (5.7ft) tall and without a beard
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A man whips a devotee during a Maundy Thursday ritual by penitents to atone for sins in Angeles, Pampanga north of Manila. Flagellation is a form of religious discipline observed every lenten season by Catholic devotees in the Philippines
Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan take part in a religious procession in Tolosa, on the Philippine island of Leyte, on Monday. More than 4,000 people have been killed by the storm and the death toll may go higher.
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Pope Francis blesses and waves to the crowd as he arrives for his weekly open-air general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
A woman holds toilet paper outside a public convenience near the Roman Catholic church during celebrations of the Assumption of Mary in Cacica, northern Romania on Thursday. The church, famous for it’s Black Madonna icon, was built by members of the Polish community and completed in 1904. In 2000, it was awarded the title of Basilica Minor by the late Pope John Paul II
People, covered with mud and dried banana leaves, raise their hands for blessing as they attend a mass celebrating the feast day of the Catholic patron Saint John the Baptist in the village of Bibiclat, Nueva Ecija, north of Manila. Hundreds of devotees took part in this annual religious tradition, which has been held in the village since 1945.
Pope Francis waves to the crowd gathered in St Peter’s square at the Vatican upon his arrival on Wednesday for his weekly general audience.