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Imagine you're at the Vatican, hanging out with Pope Francis today. "Hey pope," you might ask, "How was your Epiphany on Monday?" referring, of course, to the feast day that marks the end of the 12 Days of Christmas. In response, Pope Francis might simply show you the above photo. 

AP/Handout from Vatican paper
L'Osservatore Romano 

In other words, pretty great.

Francis visited a living nativity scene on Monday evening, where this photo was snapped. At some point, things got a bit crazy and Pope Francis ended up with a baaaaaaby lamb around his neck. The imagery itself is also a biblical reference to the gospel of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, about a shepherd who leaves his flock of sheep in order to find a single one that got lost. The shepherd carries the sheep back home on his shoulders. Which, as it turns out, has a pretty good tie-in message to his Epiphany sermon, which was all about reaching out to estranged Catholics: 

‘I would like to tell all those who feel far from God and the church — and I say this respectfully to those who are afraid or indifferent: The Lord calls you and wants you to be part of his people and does so with great respect and love!’’

The pope also talked to some kids and ducks at the living Nativity scene in St. Alfonso Maria de' Liguori parish church near Rome, adding even more images to his already impressive collection of photo moments: 

AP/Handout from Vatican paper L'Osservatore Romano 


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