Pope Francis has been well enough to read the Angelus prayer from a Vatican window overlooking St Peter's Square, speaking unaided for the first time since suffering from an acute lung inflammation two weeks ago.
The pontiff, who turns 87 later this month, has asked aides to help read his prayers and messages in the past weeks and last week cancelled a planned trip to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai on doctor's orders after a bout of flu and an associated lung problem.
Marking the Catholic feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace wearing a full-length white overcoat.
He stood throughout the brief Angelus prayer, recited on Sundays and on all holy feasts.
He also smiled and waved to greet the crowds in the square.
"I ask all the faithful... to pray for peace in Ukraine, in Palestine and Israel and in all the lands wounded by war. We ask for peace, for hearts to be pacified," he said.
"There must be peace," he added.
He appeared to cough very briefly at one point and made no reference to his health during his appearance.
The Pope had said on Wednesday that he was feeling much better, although he added that his voice was still weak.
One part of his lungs was removed when Francis was a young man in his native Argentina.
Later on Friday, the Pope is expected to visit the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and also pray and place flowers at the base of a statue of the Madonna in the city centre.
Australian Associated Press