TODAY   |  March 31, 2013

Pope Francis leads first Easter mass

In his first Easter Sunday since his election, Pope Francis led an open-air Mass in front of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, offering a message of peace. He called for an end to violence across the world and an easing of tensions in the Korean peninsula. NBC’s Claudio Lavanga reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> reporter: yeah, peter, good morning. well, the vatican is now saying that more than 250,000 people gathered here in st. peter's square and surrounding areas to welcome the first easter mass by pope francis, which was delivered as in the traditional style now, in a somber, short, simple manner. after the mass, pope francis toured once again st. peter's square in his now trademark open-top jeep, and once again, he stopped by in a very moving moment to get off the jeep and go and kiss disabled man. then he went into the loge of the basilica, the same balcony he appeared a couple weeks ago, where he was elected and delivered the traditional message, where in his message he sent out the traditional message of peace to the world, of course, but in particular he mentioned middle east , israelis, palestinians called for an end of violence in iraq, syria, and even easing tensions in the korean peninsula . peter?

>> all right, claudia, thank you very much.