Pope Francis holds a candle as he presides over a solemn Easter vigil ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope in Easter Vigil to baptize Nigerian migrant-hero

March 31, 2018 - 3:03 pm

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is celebrating the solemn Easter Vigil service in St. Peter's Basilica, during which he will baptize eight adults into the Catholic faith, including a Nigerian migrant-turned-hero.

Francis processed in silence down the darkened central aisle of the basilica, led only by a single candle and blue floor lights that gave the scene a mystical air.

The late-night service is the most solemn in the liturgical calendar, leading up to the joyful Easter Sunday Mass when Christians mark the resurrection of Christ.

During the service, Francis will welcome into the faith eight adults, including a Nigerian migrant hailed as a hero for helping stop a thief until police arrived. In preparing for his baptism, he reportedly asked the Rome police captain who handled his case to be his godfather.

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