Updated 10:02 a.m. ET
VATICAN CITY Breaking with tradition, Pope Francis delivered off-the-cuff remarks about God's power to forgive instead of reading from a written speech for the first Sunday window appearance of his papacy.
He also spoke only in Italian beginning with `'buon giorno" (Good day) and ending with `'buon pranzo" (Have a good lunch) instead of greeting the faithful in several languages as his last few predecessors had done.
His comments and humor delighted a crowd of more than 150,000 in St. Peter's Square, drawing cheers and laughter.
In just five days, Francis' straightforward, spontaneous style has become immediate hallmark of his papacy.
Earlier Sunday, he made an impromptu appearance before the public from a side gate of the Vatican, startling passers-by and prompting cheers, before delivering a six minute homily brief by church standards at the Vatican's tiny parish church.
Before he entered St. Anna's church to celebrate Mass, he heartily shook hands with parishioners and kissed babies.
After Mass, Francis put his security detail to the test as he waded into the street just outside St. Anna's Gate. As the traffic light at the intersection turned green, Francis stepped up to the crowd, grasping outstretched hands. The atmosphere was so casual that several people even gripped Francis on the shoulder.
A few minutes later as the traffic light turned red, Francis ducked back inside the Vatican's boundaries to dash upstairs for the window appearance from the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace.
The studio window was opened for the first time since Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, gave his last window blessing on Sunday, Feb. 24. Four days later, Benedict went into retirement, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years.
Francis, the first pope from Latin America, was elected on March 13. He has been staying in a hotel on the Vatican's premises until the papal apartment in the palace is ready.
Francis described to the press earlier how was comforted by his friend, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, as it appeared the voting was going his way and it seemed "a bit dangerous" that he would reach the two-thirds necessary to be elected.
"He hugged me. He kissed me. He said don't forget about the poor," Francis recalled. "And that's how in my heart came the name Francis of Assisi," who devoted his life to the poor, missionary outreach and caring for God's creation.
In keeping with his reputation as a man of the people, Francis has been avoiding ostentatious events, CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey reports from Vatican City.
When the huge papal apartments were opened for him, he remarked that there was "room enough for 300 people" and there was no need to redecorate.
A picture showed him trying to pay the bill at the hotel he stayed in before going into the conclave that elected him as pope.
Hundreds of extra traffic police were deployed Sunday morning to control crowds and vehicles, for it was also the day of Rome's annual marathon.
Bus routes were rerouted and many streets were closed off in an attempt to channel the curious and faithful up the main boulevard from the Tiber river to St. Peter's square.
Giant video screens were set up so the huge crowd could get a close-up look at Francis, and dozens of medical teams were on hand for any emergencies.
After the Mass, the pope stepped out jauntily from St. Anna's Church and waved to a crowd of hundreds kept behind barriers across the street, and then greeted the Vatican parishioners one by one. One young man patted the pope on the back an indication of the informality that has been evident from the first moment of his papacy.
"Francesco! Francesco!" children shouted his name in Italian from the street. As he patted one little boy on the head, he asked "Are you a good boy?" and the child nodded.
`'Are you sure?" the pope quipped.
In his homily, Francis said the core message of God is "that of mercy." He said God has an unfathomable capacity to pardon and noted that people are often harder on each other than God is toward sinners.