Pope Francis has marked the first anniversary of his election in prayer and quiet contemplation of the meaning of Lent, far from the adoring crowds and controversies of Rome, AFP reports.
In keeping with Francis’s tendency to eschew much of the pomp and ceremony associated with his role, the anniversary was not marked in any official way, with the exception of a solitary tweet from the official Pontifex account.
“Please pray for me,” the 77-year-old wrote to his 12 million followers in nine languages, echoing an appeal he made in his first address to followers from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica exactly one year ago.
Francis was spending the day on a pre-Easter spiritual retreat in the Castelli Romani, a picturesque area on the south-eastern outskirts of Rome
He left the Vatican on Sunday after his weekly blessing and will return on Saturday.