Pope bundles up for chilly outdoor audience

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Pope Francis tries to keep himself warm as he attends his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Francis is bundling up for the cold snap belting Italy, donning a white double-breasted winter coat and scarf. Several times Wednesday, the pope used his sleeves as a muffler to keep his hands warm amid temperatures that dipped to freezing with the wind chill factored in. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A chilly Pope Francis has cheered the thousands of pilgrims who braved a cold snap belting Italy to attend his weekly general audience, saying they were courageous to come out.

Francis himself was bundled up in a white double-breasted winter coat and scarf, but it wasn't enough. He had to use his sleeves as a muffler to keep his hands warm amid temperatures that on Wednesday dipped to freezing with the wind chill factored in.

For the bulk of the audience, Francis sat on a platform under gray skies in the wind-whipped St. Peter's Square.

Francis cancelled his audiences earlier this month after suffering a cold. The 77-year-old Argentine doesn't enjoy the robust health of his predecessors, having lost most of one lung to an infection when he was younger.