Francis spoke in St Peter's Square on the First Sunday of Advent

Pope Francis has said Advent is an invitation to “sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world”.

Pope Francis was speaking to the faithful in St Peter’s Square on Sunday as he marked the start of the new liturgical year at the Angelus for the First Sunday of Advent, Vatican Radio reports.

The Pope added that Catholics should not be overpowered by a concern for material things and said Advent is “an invitation to vigilance, because, not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready to depart.”

The Pope also told the faithful that Catholics are “are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life that is presented each day with its newness. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own established plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don’t imagine.”