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Pope lights Christmas candle in his Vatican window

Pope lights Christmas candle in his Vatican window

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Vatican City:  Pope Benedict XVI has lit a Christmas peace candle set on the windowsill of his private studio.

Pilgrims, tourists and Romans gathered below in St. Peter's Square for the inauguration Monday evening of a Nativity scene and cheered when the flame was lit.

Later, he will appear in St. Peter's Basilica to lead Christmas Eve Mass. The ceremony begins at 10 pm (2100 GMT) instead of the midnight start time, which was changed at the Vatican years ago to let the pontiff rest before a Christmas Day speech to be delivered from the basilica's central balcony.

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