Pope leads long Vatican Mass after health setbacks

Looking tired but relaxed, Pope Francis has led his first major public ceremony after a spate of cancelled appointments for health problems.

Vatican City: Looking tired but relaxed, Pope Francis has led his first major public ceremony after a spate of cancelled appointments for health problems.

Francis appeared to hold up well Sunday during the more than 90-minute Mass in St Peter`s Basilica to honour Saints Peter and Paul.

The Vatican has played down the cancellations, including one last-minute Friday because 77-year-old Francis had an unspecified "mild" health problem.

Francis, often laughing or smiling, chatted with each of the 24 archbishops kneeling before him to receive a white woollen band symbolising shared episcopal power.

An hour after the ceremony, he appeared to people in St. Peter`s Square from an Apostolic Palace window. He appealed for Iraq`s leaders to use dialogue to save national unity and avoid further warfare there.

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