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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has marked his one-year anniversary with a simple tweet: "Please pray for me."

Francis' appeal Thursday echoed his gesture on that rainy night one year ago when he came out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica and introduced himself to the world. Rather than impart a blessing on the crowd below him, Francis asked first for a "favor" from the crowd, bowing his head and asking for the crowd to bless him.

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Francis has continued to ask for prayers, ending nearly each appearance with a similar request.

Francis was spending his anniversary tucked away on retreat south of Rome with senior Vatican cardinals and monsignors. The Vatican said nothing special was planned for his anniversary during the retreat, just prayer.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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