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Pope Francis Celebrates 3rd Anniversary by Giving Away 40,000 Copies of Gospel of Luke

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is marking his third anniversary as pope by reinforcing his message of mercy and giving away 40,000 copies of the Gospel of Luke.

Nuns who work in the Vatican's free pediatric clinic and Roman grandparents handed out the booklets to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square for Francis' Sunday blessing.

Francis began his papacy in 2013 by stressing a mercy-over-morals message — one that he is emphasizing in particular during his Holy Year of Mercy.

Francis told the crowd the Biblical story of the adulterous woman whom Jesus refused to condemn. Francis said: "This woman represents all of us, adulterers before God, traitors of his trust. And her experience represents the will of God for all of us: Not our condemnation, but our salvation through Jesus."

Related: How Pope Francis Became the 'People's Pope' in 2015