Apr. 8 - Roman Catholics throng the Vatican on Easter Sunday to mark the Christian holiday amid economic woe. Travis Brecher reports.
Thousands of Roman Catholics throng to the Vatican to mark Easter Sunday and to hear the Pope's message to the world. Pope Benedict was set to preside over the Easter Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square before delivering a speech. But in Italy, which has been hit hard by a deep economic crisis, many locals have little reason to celebrate this Easter - and are hoping the weekend will bring both spiritual and material fortune. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) PILGRIM ANGELA RIZZI FROM MILAN, ITALY, SAYING: "How do I see it? With hope. Easter is all about hope and resurrection and so we are asking for a spiritual resurrection and unfortunately, we now also have to ask for a material resurrection." One American visitor was saddened to see that so few young families turned out for the holiday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PILGRIM PAULA BRASFIELD FROM WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES, SAYING: "God will help us, maybe get through it, I'm upset I don't see more pregnant young girls in Italy, it seems there is no young families that I've seen here. In America we see many young families, they are having children and here I don't see very many and I talked to a girl and she said we are afraid to have babies, we are afraid to have families because it's so expensive for us." Pope Benedict has called for perseverance in the face of a faltering Italian economy. But the 85-year-old pontiff, too, appeared tired over the Easter weekend, after returning last week from a grueling trip to Mexico and Cuba. Travis Brecher, Reuters