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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis is offering "words of strength, courage and hope" as the world begins a new year.

That was his emphasis in a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday morning.

The Catholic church dedicates Jan. 1 to the promotion of word peace. Francis said there was "hunger and thirst for justice, peace and God" in the world.

In his first year as pope, Francis has charted a path for what he calls a "poor" church attentive to the needy and a "joyous" one reaching out to others.

The Argentine-born pontiff urged Catholics worldwide to follow an "itinerary of faith" that promotes a joyous Gospel "without borders."

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