VATICAN CITY – A chilly Pope Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out.
Francis himself was bundled up in a white double-breasted winter coat and scarf, but it wasn't enough. He had to use his sleeves as a muffler to keep his hands warm amid temperatures that on Wednesday dipped to freezing with the wind chill factored in.
For the bulk of the audience, Francis sat on a platform under gray skies in the wind-whipped St. Peter's Square.
Francis cancelled his audiences earlier this month after suffering a cold. The 77-year-old Argentine doesn't enjoy the robust health of his predecessors, having lost most of one lung to an infection when he was younger.