VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis marked his one-year anniversary Thursday with a simple tweet: "Please pray for me."
Francis' appeal 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, Francis asked first for a "favor," asking the crowd to bless him.
Francis has continued to ask for prayers, ending nearly each appearance with a similar request.
Francis spent his anniversary tucked away on retreat south of Rome with senior Vatican cardinals and monsignors. The Vatican said nothing special was planned, just prayer and meditations.