Story by the Associated Press; curated by Oliver Darcy.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is celebrating Christianity’s most joyous day, Easter Sunday, under sunny skies in St. Peter’s Square.

Even before Mass began, a crowd of more than 100,000 was overflowing from the cobblestoned square. Many more Romans, tourists and pilgrims were still streaming in for the pontiff’s tradition Easter greeting at noon.

A large crowd is seen in St. Peter's Square from the Bernini colonnade towards Via della Conciliazione avenue, top, during Pope Francis' Easter Mass, at the the Vatican, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A large crowd is seen in St. Peter’s Square from the Bernini colonnade towards Via della Conciliazione avenue, top, during Pope Francis’ Easter Mass, at the the Vatican, Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis, center, arrives to celebrate an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis, center, arrives to celebrate an Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sunday, April 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

A rainstorm had lashed Rome on Saturday night, with thunder competing with the sound of hymns when Francis led a vigil service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Dawn brought clear skies and warm temperatures.

This year, the Roman Catholic church’s celebration of Easter coincides with that of the Orthodox church. Some of the hymns at the Vatican Mass were in Russian.

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