The new Pope has called for protection for the world's poorest people at his inauguration mass.

Addressing huge crowds in the Vatican City, Pope Francis spoke of a "shaft of light" breaking through the clouds.

"We must protect humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those who are hungry, thirsty, the stranger, those who are naked and in prison," he said.

Delivering his homily in Italian, he sad: "God does not want a house built by men; he wants faithfulness to his plan, and it is God who builds the house, but from living stones."

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PICTURES: Pope Francis Inauguration Mass Held At Vatican

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He appealed to "all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill"

They should be “protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment," he said.

"Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world."

Up to one million people gathered in Rome for the spectacular ceremony.

Pope Francis smiled and waved at the crowds who had packed into sun-drenched St Peter's Square.

The Argentine, a surprise choice for Pontiff when he was elected by Cardinals on Thursday, was greeted by flags from his native country among the crowds.

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Huge crowds gathered for the inauguration

At one point, he climbed out of his open-topped popemobile to kiss a disabled man.

pope franics

Pope Francis stepped off his popemobile to bless a disabled man in St. Peter's Square

Pope Francis left his temporary residence just before 9am Italian time and toured St Peter's Square, the BBC reported.


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Shouts of 'long live the pope' from crowd as goes past in open-topped jeep

He visited St Peter's tomb to venerate it and received the "fisherman's ring", bearing the image of St Peter holding a pair of keys.

pope francis

Dressed in white, he smiled and waved at the crowds

Earlier, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales had said Pope Francis had "won people's hearts" since his appointment.

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  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis is greeted by crowds as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Ecuador's President Rafael Correa applauds Pope Francis passing by, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Photo provided by German government shows Pope Francis as he is congratuled by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center right, after his inaugural Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Some dozens heads of states and government heads came to Rome to attend the mass. (AP Photo/Bundesregierung, Guido Bergmann)

  • Pope Francis kisses a child in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis drives through the crowds during the Inauguration Mass for the Pope in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass is being held in front of an expected crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Italian cardinal Angelo Sodano (R) puts the Fisherman's Ring, made of gold-plated silver, on a finger of Pope Francis during his grandiose inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    An assistant puts the papal mitre to Pope Francis during his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis acknowledges the crowd of faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his Inauguration Mass on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The inauguration of Pope Francis is being held in front of an expected crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have crowded into St Peter's Square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his position. Pope Francis' inauguration takes place in front his cardinals, spiritual leaders as well as heads of states from around the world and he will now lead an estimated 1.3 billion Catholics. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Pope Francis holds his hat upon arrival in the papamobile on St Peter's square for his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at St peter's square at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS,GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Inauguration Mass For Pope Francis

    VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis greets the faithful during the Inauguration Mass for Pope Francis in St Peter's Square on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The mass was held in front of an estimated crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have filled the square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his role as pontiff. Pope Francis' inauguration took place in front of Cardinals and spiritual leaders as well as heads of state from around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • VATICAN-POPE-INAUGURATION-MASS

    Pope Francis waves to faithful upon arrival in the papamobile on St Peter's square for his inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at St peter's square at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI,ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves upon his arrival in St. Peter's Square for his inaugural Mass, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves upon his arrival in St. Peter's Square for his inaugural Mass, at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis waves to crowds as he arrives to his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis is greeted by crowds as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis walks past the altar in front of St. Peter's Basilica in St. Peter's Square following his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis looks out from the alter during his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • U.S. vice-president Joe Biden attends Pope Francis' installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends Pope Francis' installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his installation Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff as he celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has urged princes, presidents, sheikhs and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass to protect God's creation, the weakest and the poorest of the world. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis celebrates Mass during his inauguration in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis is bestowed the Fisherman's Ring by Cardinal Angelo Sodano during his inaugural Mass, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis stands at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis sits at the steps of St. Peter's Basilica during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis reads the gospel during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Prelates attend Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock.. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Prince Felipe of Spain, center, is flanked by Dutch Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Letizia as they attend Pope Francis' inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Pope Francis has officially begun his ministry as the 266th pope, receiving the ring symbolizing the papacy and a wool stole symbolizing his role as shepherd of his 1.2-billion strong flock. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Crowds watch on video monitors as Pope Francis reads the gospel during his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Pope Francis waves incense around the alter before his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis holds his pastoral staff prior to celebrating his inaugural Mass, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Francis waves incense around the alter before his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis, center, celebrates his inaugural Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Pope Francis waves as he arrives for his inauguration Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)