Amid tight security and gray skies over the Vatican, Pope Francis opened a Holy Year dedicated to the church's mercy for all.

FOX's Courtney Walsh reports from Rome:

After a celebratory mass for the Holy Year on a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square...

Pope Francis opened the Basilica's bronze doors, symbolic of walking closer to God and away from sin...

(Pope Francis) "The Holy Year is a gift of grace, going through the doors means to discover mercy." 

... He said... Retired Pope Benedict was the second person to enter the door... Above the Vatican air space was closed and extra troops were on the ground to thwart a Paris-style attack...

Pope Francis told the faithful... Don't be afraid...

In Rome, Courtney Walsh, FOX News Radio.