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Pope Francis braves the rain to greet audience

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VATICAN CITY (AP) - The rain hasn't stopped Pope Francis.

The 76-year-old pontiff, who lost part of a lung during his youth to an infection, got soaked Wednesday as he braved a brief spring shower to kiss babies and greet crowds at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. Zooming around the piazza in his open-air jeep, Francis had no umbrella or cover over him as he made his way through a sea of brightly colored umbrellas, happily stopping to caress and kiss babies handed up to him.

Once Francis reached the covered platform at the top of the piazza steps, an aide brought him a roll of paper towels and he wiped his brow. His white cassock was visibly damp.

Francis praised the crowd for their "courage" in braving the rain.

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