Vatican City, Jan 1 (AP) Pope Francis has ushered in the New Year with an ode to motherhood, reminding the faithful that a mother’s example and embrace is the only antidote to today’s disjointed world of solitude and misery.

Francis celebrated Mass Tuesday in St. Peter’s Basilica to formally open 2019. In his homily Francis urged Catholics to allow themselves to be led again as children are led by their mothers.

He said: “We need to learn from mothers that heroism is shown in self-giving, strength in compassion, wisdom in meekness.” The New Year followed a disastrous 2018 for Francis, which opened with the explosion of the global sex abuse scandal and ended with the sudden departures of the Vatican spokesman and deputy in a sign of discord and dysfunction within the Holy See. (AP) CPS 01011554

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.