Pope Francis

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The Message of the Gospel at the Centre

Pope Francis embracing a youth scout at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.
Pope Francis embracing a youth scout at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had several audiences, including with:

members of Italy’s Superior Council of the Judiciary (full text)
participants in the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI (official website) (full text, full video). It was a massive gathering of over 100,000 children and adults at St. Peter’s Square. Watching the full video, as he processed in the popemobile around St. Peter’s Square, people threw their neckerchiefs to Pope Francis, showering him with them, and soon the front of his popemobile had an enormous pile of neckerchiefs on it.

Pope Francis greeting youth scouts at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting youth scouts at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.
Pope Francis being showered with neckerchiefs from youth scouts at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.
Pope Francis being showered with neckerchiefs from youth scouts at an audience with the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts or AGESCI, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican, June 13th, 2015.

In his address to them, he said that the ideal scout must have:

...a capacity for dialogue and build bridges in a society that is used to putting up walls.

He also praised them for promoting:

...training sessions for scout leaders on approaching the Bible, using new methods also and placing the comparison between the narration of life experiences and the Message of the Gospel at the centre.

I love Pope Francis!

Additionaly, today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

Today the Church is a Church of martyrs, so many heroic witnesses. May we learn from their courage. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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I Will Take It To Earthly Paradise

Pope Francis receiving a Polish apple tree from Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of Poland and telling her, “I will take it to earthly paradise,” at the Vatican, June 12th, 2015.
Pope Francis receiving a Polish apple tree from Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of Poland and telling her, “I will take it to earthly paradise,” at the Vatican, June 12th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, including:

Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of Poland (press release, summary video). During the encounter, Kopacz gave Pope Francis the gift of a typical Polish apple tree, and Pope Francis responded by saying:

Thank you very much. I will take it to earthly paradise.

I love Pope Francis!! God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.
participants of the International Seminar of Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy (full text, summary video)
Father Ricardo E. Facci, founder and President of Hogares nuevos-Obra de Cristo or New-home work of Christ (official website)

In the evening, Pope Francis celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, for the World Retreat for Priests, sponsored by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) (official website) and the Catholic Fraternity. He addressed the gathering speaking off-the-cuff in Spanish, and spoke on many issues, including dealing with potential conflicts in the church, women holding the priesthood, and having mercy unto the faithful, and, as well, he had took and answered questions from the audience (more details, full video, summary video). Also, during the Q & A, he announced that he is planning a journey to Africa to happen in November of this year. Also during the meeting, he revealed that in ecumenical dialogue with other Christian churches, he has been seeking to establish a common date for the celebration of Easter. One super good quote from his address is:

A Church where no discussions take place, is a dead Church. Do you know where no discussions take place at all? In cemeteries, there no one discusses anything. No one.

The Church is someplace which is alive. Additionally at the gathering, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with them and gave a homily (extensive text in English, full text in Spanish).

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

In Pope Francis related news:

There is an excellent interview of Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts regarding various issues of “forgiveness” associated with the Holy Year of Mercy.

And for a bit of comedy, I saw this hilarious satire video on Pope Francis’ encyclical to be release this coming Thursday (article link).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Living A Christian Life

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the topic of Christian life as a life of service (more details, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis received a bunch of people in audience, including:

bishops of Latvia and Estonia on their ad Limina visit (full text)
participants of the 39th Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization or FAO (full text, summary video)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada (press release, summary video)
• a delegation from the San Andres School of Evangelization (official website)

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

Where there is no work, there is no dignity. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Today, there is an excellent interview with Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin regarding relations between the Palestinian State, Israeli State, and the Holy See.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Putin Visits Pope Francis

Pope Francis meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Vatican, June 10th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the Vatican, June 10th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had his weekly General Audience at St. Peter’s Square and spoke regarding the topic of caring for the aged and for the ill in families (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2).

In addition to the General Audience, Pope France received a couple of other audiences, including with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, and his entourage (press release, summary video). A lot, they discussed the land dispute in Ukraine. Interestingly, according to some reports, Pope Francis apparently speaks fluent German and so does Putin, so a lot of their conversations at the were in German. Actually, ever since I saw Vladimir Putin in those adorable, topless wilderness pictures — I absolutely love him!!!!!!! For more Putin adorableness, check out this great sideshow.

Ennio Morricone conducting his Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater, June 10th, 2015.
Ennio Morricone conducting his Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater, June 10th, 2015.
Ennio Morricone conducting his Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater, June 10th, 2015.
The poster greeting attendees at the performance of Ennio Morricone’s Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater, June 10th, 2015.
The poster greeting attendees at the performance of Ennio Morricone’s Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater, June 10th, 2015.

While Pope Francis was meeting with Putin, the world premiere of the Missa Papae Francisci (Mass for Pope Francis) written and conducted by Ennio Morricone was performed at Rome’s Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta and two choruses from the Accademia Santa Cecilia and the Rome Opera Theater (summary video). In his absence, he sent message of his “esteem and gratitude to Maestro Morricone.”

The Council of Cardinals concluded their meetings today, and Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, had a press conference this morning to share many of their discussions and decisions, and that Pope Francis has approved the proposals of the council and authorized the provision of resources for their fulfillment. One of the reforms particularly in the news relates to correcting bishops if involved in clerical abuse (analysis article, summary video).

He also made several appointments.

And today was announced the subtitle of Pope Francis’ encyclical: “on the care of our common home.”

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Gift of Identity

Pope Francis delivering a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, at the Vatican, June 9th, 2015.
Pope Francis delivering a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, at the Vatican, June 9th, 2015.

Today at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis gave a super good homily on the topic of not watering down one’s Christian identity (more details & text, summary video). One of my favorite lines from his address is:

It is God himself who confirms us in Christ. And he has anointed us, he has placed the seal on us, he has given an earnest penny, the seal of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It is God who give us this gift of identity.

Also today Pope Francis continued having his meetings with the Council of Cardinals regarding reforms to the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis made an appointment, and sent a tweet:

In the Sacrament of the Eucharist we find God who gives himself. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Speak More Freely

Today Pope Francis met with the Council of Cardinals to discuss Roman Curial reforms.

He also received in audience bishops of the Puerto Rican Episcopal Conference on their ad Limina visit (full text of written address, summary video). In his meeting itself, he encouraged them to eat together, and drink wine to help them speak more freely with each other. I love Pope Francis!

And today, he made some appointments (more details).

In God’s global plan news:

Today, it was announced that by way of Papal Almner Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, Pope Francis is planning and working on constructing a homeless shelter near the Vatican.

And I saw this in the news that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is having its biannual conference in Rome this week (conference webpage) with a big focus on ending poverty across the whole earth. Many international leaders are converging and speaking at the conference, and Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who met with Pope Francis yesterday, spoke at the conference today.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A School of Charity and Solidarity

Pope Francis meeting in audience with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina at the Vatican, June 7th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting in audience with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina at the Vatican, June 7th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis delivered an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square and spoke of his journey to Sarajevo, its ecumenical importance, and in the light of this past week’s feast of Corpus Christi, spoke of the goodness of the Eucharist (full text in Italian, full video, summary video).

He also met today with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (summary video). Related to the meeting, greeting some reporters he asked them to pray for him and if they didn’t believe, then to send “good vibes” his way.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Sublime Nobility and Beauty

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at Kosevo stadium in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, June 6th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at Kosevo stadium in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, June 6th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis traveled to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. While in the air, as usual, he sent telegram greetings to the heads of state of the countries he was flying over (full text).

At the airport, he was greeted by several leaders of the country (full video). He then traveled by car to the presidential palace, where he met with members of the presidency (full video). Also in the course of it all, Pope Francis gave Serb President Mladen Ivanic, a framed mosaic depicting the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis then addressed various additional governmental leaders, diplomats, and religious leaders (full text, full video, summary video from airport through presidential palace). Of his address, one of my favorite lines is:

...recognize the fundamental values of human communities, values in the name of which we can and must cooperate, build and dialogue, pardon and grow; this will allow different voices to unite in creating a melody of sublime nobility and beauty....

Following that, he traveled to the Kosevo stadium and had Mass and gave a homily there (full text, full video, summary video). One of my favorite lines from the homily is:

Peace is God’s dream, his plan for humanity, for history, for all creation.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!

Also here’s a nice video of clips from both his address at the presidential palace and at Kosevo stadium.

He then traveled to meet with a gathering of priests, men and women religious, and seminarians at the Sarajevo Cathedral (full text delivered, full text prepared, full video, summary video).

And he also spoke with an interreligious and ecumenical gathering at the Franciscan International Student Centre in Sarajevo (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis then went on to travel to the Diocesan Youth Centre “Giovanni Paolo II” (John Paul II) and spoke to a gathering of young people (full text prepared, full text delivered (a Q&A), full video, summary video).

He departed for Rome that evening (full video). After take-off, Pope Francis sent telegram greetings to the heads of state of the nations he flew over (full text).

Pope Francis also held a press conference on board the plane on the return flight to Rome (near-full text, additional text, summary video). During the press conference, he spoke of the church’s status on investigating the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina (video clip).

Also, this evening, Pope Francis sent message to participants in the 37th nocturnal pilgrimage on foot from Macerata to Loreto, Italy (full text).

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Mercy Summarises the Gospel

Today Pope Francis had several audiences, and more, including with:

• Cardinal Angelo Amato in which Pope Francis approved several decrees
participants in the General Chapter of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, also called Dehonians (full text)
participants in the general assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Societies or PMS (full text, summary video)
• Dr. Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI Petroleum Inc. (official website), with family
• President Michelle Bachelet Jeria of the Republic of Chile (press release, summary video)

Today Pope Francis sent message of condolences regarding an explosion and fire in a petrol station in Accra, Ghana.

And he made several appointments (more details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Under the Sign of Bread and Wine

This evening Pope Francis observed the feast of Corpus Christi by celebrating Mass and giving a homily in front of the Patriarchal Basilica of Saint John Lateran (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2), and then there was a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the nearby Basilica of St. Mary Major where Pope Francis continued officiating there (summary video). Here’s one of my favorite lines from his homily:

Christ, present among us under the sign of bread and wine, demands that power of love overcome every fracture and, at the same time, become communion with the poor, support for the weak and fraternal concern for those who struggle to bear the weight of daily life and are in danger of losing their faith.

Wow. The “power of love overcome every fracture.”

Today Pope Francis also made an appointment and sent a tweet:

We need to build up society in the light of the Beatitudes, walking towards the Kingdom with the least among us. (link)

Also in Pope Francis news, it was announced that Pope Francis’ new encyclical is planned to be released two weeks from today, Thursday, June 18th (press release in Italian).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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“A New Civil Ethics” For Humanity

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at his General Audience, June 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting pilgrims at his General Audience, June 3rd, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had his General Audience and spoke on the topic of potential hardships which families may face (full text, full video, summary video). Also during his General Audience, Pope Francis received a custom Vancouver Canucks jersey from a newlywed couple from British Columbia. Of his address itself, some of my favorite lines are:

...even in poverty, the family continues to form and even to conserve - as they can - the special humanity of their bonds. ...we should kneel before these families, who are a true school of humanity that saves societies from barbarism.

A new civil ethics will come only when those responsible for public life reorganize the social bond from the fight against the destructive spiral between family and poverty, which leads us into the abyss.

I love it that he spoke of “A new civil ethics” for humanity.

...we must not forget that the judgement of the needy, of the little ones and of the poor anticipates the judgement of God (Mt. 25, 31-46).

The Bible says: “My son, deprive not the poor of his living, and do not keep needy eyes waiting.” Let us think about each word! “Do not grieve the one who is hungry, nor anger a man in want. Do not add to the troubles of an angry mind, nor delay your gift to a beggar. Do not reject an afflicted suppliant, nor turn your face away from the poor. Do not avert your eye from the needy, nor give a man occasion to curse you; for if in bitterness of soul he calls down a curse upon you” (Ws. 4: 1-6). For this is what the Lord will do, the Gospel says, if we do not do these things.

That’s pretty harsh of God to do, but God requires the poor to be lifted up with strong, fond, tender affection, that there be no more poorness nor struggle among humans. God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

Today Pope Francis also made several appointments.

As well in the news, starting today, Pope Francis has helped to foot the bill for several groups of homeless and monetarily poor to visit the Shroud of Turin before his visit on June 21st (summary video).

Also today, Cardinal Pietro Parolin was in Paris at UNESCO Headquarters for the Forum "Educating today and tomorrow" and spoke there (full text in French, summary article) and conveyed greetings of Pope Francis:

I welcome you all warmly on behalf of his Holiness Pope Francis.... With the Pope, I fervently hope that the successful commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO is a good opportunity to further consolidate its commitment to the protection of the cultural heritage of humankind and the promotion of education and science.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Civilization Of God

Pope Francis appointed members of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology who look after the catacombs, today, June 2nd, 2015, and spoke of the Catacombs of St. Januarius or San Gennaro (pictured here) a few days ago when meeting with the Children’s Train, May 30th, 2015.
Pope Francis appointed members of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology (who look after the catacombs) today, June 2nd, 2015, and spoke of the Catacombs of St. Januarius or San Gennaro (pictured above) a few days ago when meeting with the Children’s Train, May 30th, 2015 (pic source).

Today Pope Francis received several people in audience, including Dr. Michel Roy, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.

He sent a video message to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the faithful (full text, video excerpts).

Today Pope Francis made some appointments, particularly appointing members of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology (official webpage). The commission promotes and directs excavations of the Catacombs of Rome and various other sites of Christian antiquarian interest, and safeguarding and preserving these sites and objects found therein. And he actually mentioned the catacombs on Saturday when meeting with the Children’s Train – so in the midst of working the last while on appointing members of the commission, it’s been clearly on his mind.

And today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

The light of the Gospel guides all who put themselves at the service of the civilization of love. (link)

Wow. I love Pope Francis!!!!!!! God is love, and the civilization of love is the civilization of God.

As well, there are several stories in the news lately on Pope Francis and white roses. Today there’s one story of a sign St. Therese of Liseux gave Pope Francis of a white rose after Mass at the Shrine of St. Cajetan on the outskirts of Buenos Aires in 2010. And yesterday there’s a story of two French rose growers who have developed a new variety of white rose named for Pope Francis; the article also spoke of several other incidents in which he has received white roses as signs from St. Therese.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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This History Of Salvation

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the story of God’s failures and of the success of the resurrection (more details, summary video).

Today Pope Francis continued visiting the various dicasteries of the Roman Curia (departments of the Vatican), particularly those located in Piazza Pio XII, no. 10, and met with employees there.

And Pope Francis made some appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Feast of the Holy Trinity

Today at noon, Pope Francis gave an Angelus Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square, speaking on the topic of living our relationships with each other like the relationship of the Trinity (full text, full video, summary video).

Also in the news today, the title of the upcoming encyclical on the environment/ecology was announced, it is Laudato Sii, Latin for “Praised Be To You,” taken from St. Francis’ Canticle of the Sun, a hymn of praise to God for His creations, written in 1224 (more details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Gift Of Meeting You

Some children after arriving at the Vatican train station on the Children’s Train to visit Pope Francis, May 30th, 2015.
Some children after arriving at the Vatican train station on the Children’s Train to visit Pope Francis, May 30th, 2015.
Some children flying kites and playing near St. Peter’s Basilica after arriving at the Vatican train station on the Children’s Train to visit Pope Francis, May 30th, 2015.
Some children flying kites and playing near St. Peter’s Basilica after arriving on the Children’s Train.
Pope Francis receiving a statement or question from a little girl from the Children’s Train, at the Vatican, May 30th, 2015.
Pope Francis receiving a statement or question from a little girl from the Children’s Train.
Pope Francis amid participants in the Children’s train visit to the Vatican to visit him, May 30th, 2015.
Pope Francis amid participants of the Children’s train.
Pope Francis embracing one of the parents or care givers of the children from the Children’s Train, at the Vatican, May 30th, 2015.
Pope Francis embracing one of the parents or care givers of the children from the Children’s Train, at the Vatican, May 30th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received in audience a number of different groups and individuals, including:

a group of children who have parents in local prisons, the group arrived at the Vatican by way the “Children’s Train.” In addition to the children, also in attendance were care givers from family homes and parents of the children who take care of the children alone while waiting for their husbands and wives come from prison (more & more details, full text, summary video).
members of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association), celebrating their 10th anniversary (full text, summary video). With the group, he spoke of protecting all forms of human life and at all stages and situations, which he referred to as “the primordial right to life.”

And today Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

Lord, grant us the awesome gift of meeting you. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Lifestyle Of Faith

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and delivered a homily on bearing good fruit through God (more details, summary video). Here is of my favorite lines from it:

...what will come to pass is exactly what we ask with faith: it is the lifestyle of faith.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!!

Pope Francis received in audience a number of people, including:

Prime Minister Miro Cerar of Slovenia (summary video)
• Ghanaian King Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II of the Ashanti and his family (summary video)
a group of disabled children and their families (full text, summary video)

Also today, Pope Francis met with the plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization (full text, summary video). The council is tasked with organizing this coming year’s Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Here’s a few super good quotes from the address:

...the gift of mercy is the proclamation that the Church is called to transmit... in this time of great changes.

The mission is always identical, but the language with which to proclaim the Gospel calls for renewal.... This is essential [for] it to be understood by our contemporaries....

This is what men expect from the Church today: that she be able to walk with them offering the company of the witness of faith, which renders one solidaristic with all, in particular with those most alone and marginalized. How many poor – also poor in the faith – await the Gospel that liberates! How many men and women, in the existential peripheries generated by the consumer, atheist society, await our closeness and our solidarity! The Gospel is the proclamation of the love of God that, in Jesus Christ, calls us to participate in his life.

...the challenge of the New Evangelization and of catechesis is staked in fact on this fundamental point: how to encounter Christ, what is the most coherent place to find Him and follow Him.

So good!!!!!! God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

And today he made an appointment, and issued a Motu Proprio document to make some revisions in the Vatican pension fund’s statutes (full text in Italian).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Christ Risen and Alive, the One Saviour of All

Pope Francis meeting with bishops from the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate on their ad Limina visit to the Vatican, May 28th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with bishops from the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate on their ad Limina visit to the Vatican, May 28th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with the president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the Vatican, May 28th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with the president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the Vatican, May 28th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta and his homily was on the topic of making one’s interior life to be Christian (more details, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, including:

a group of bishops from the Conference of the Dominican Episcopate on their ad Limina visit (full text, summary video). One of my favorite quotes from his address was this:

It is necessary to continue collaborating with the civil authorities to reach solidaristic solutions to the problems of those who are deprived of documents or are denied their basic rights.

Yes! Someone might come and even live without any “papers” nor “documents” nor “identification” at all, but they are not deprived of material salvation and well-fairing. As Pope Francis himself has proclaimed, he “speaks on behalf of the pilgrim people of God in the whole world.”
the president of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (summary video, audience photos, press release, post-audience interview)
• Head of the Royal House of Saxony, Prince Alexander von Sachsen and his family (summary video)
• former president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica Cordano (summary video)

Also in the news today, Pope Francis sent an email to a Jewish Rabbi and to a Jewish journalist to calm them regarding just because he met with the president of Palestine and recognizes the Palestinian state, it doesn’t mean he’s given up recognizing the Israeli state.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Christians are witnesses not to a theory, but to a Person: Christ risen and alive, the one Saviour of all. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

The Synod of Bishops Secretariat is now preparing all the documents for this October’s synod.

U2’s Bono speaking through a video sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, exclaimed his support for Pope Francis regarding God’s global plans and that he and so many others are fully with Pope Francis in his efforts (video link).

Also along the lines of influence, I also saw a nice article today about Pope Francis’ influence stirring ecumenical unity among Protestants.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Engaging with Engagement

At his General Audience, Pope Francis receiving and exchanging gifts with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and his wife Suzanne Pilote, St. Peter’s Square, May 27th, 2015.
At his General Audience, Pope Francis receiving and exchanging gifts with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and his wife Suzanne Pilote, St. Peter’s Square, May 27th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had his General Audience on St. Peter’s Square and spoke on the importance of engagement before marriage (more details, full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). Also during his General Audience, he received and exchanged gifts with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and his wife Suzanne Pilote. As well, Pope Francis met and saw the art of a group of young artists who are learning to paint in the style of Amedeo Modigliani.

Pope Francis sent message of condolences and prayers to victims of a tornado in Mexico.

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments.

As well in the news today is a delightful story of a woman from Huntington Beach, California, who is engaged to marry one of the Swiss Guard in October and who met Pope Francis in April (summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Praise Be To God

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on living fully as a Christian (more details, full video).

Of audiences, today Pope Francis met with a group of Franciscan monks of the Order of Friars Minor (full text, summary video).

He continued his meetings with the Council Secretariat of the Synod of bishops in preparation of the synod this coming October.

As well, Pope Francis sent a letter marking the fifth centenary of the birth of St. Philip Neri (full text).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

We can observe the Fourth Commandment by loving visits to our aging grandparents. (link)

Yes, affectionate visits to grandparents can be an extremely special part of one’s life. If applied to our “Father-Mother God” (as so many Christian Scientists refer to God as), “Praise be to God for Hir beautiful and delight blessings upon us!”

In God’s global plan news:

This evening Cardinal Pietro Parolin, one of Pope Francis’ right-hand men, spoke at the conference Rethinking Key Features of Economic and Social Life and with his address continues with Pope Francis in directing implementation of God’s global plans (full text, conference details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Enter the Kingdom of God

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on attachment to riches (more details, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis presided at a meeting of the Council Secretariat of the Synod of bishops.

In Pope Francis related news:

Thanks to Pope Francis’ continued reforms, it was reported today that profits for 2014 at the Vatican Bank took an enormous leap compared to 2013.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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You Send Forth Your Spirit

Pope Francis with two children who processed up with their parents who brought some of the sacramental offerings at Mass, Pentecost Sunday, St. Peter’s Basilica, May 24th, 2015.
Pope Francis with two children who processed up with their parents who brought some of the sacramental offerings at Mass, Pentecost Sunday, St. Peter’s Basilica, May 24th, 2015.
Pope Francis at Mass, Pentecost Sunday, St. Peter’s Basilica, May 24th, 2015.
Pope Francis at Mass, Pentecost Sunday, St. Peter’s Basilica, May 24th, 2015.

Today is Pentecost and as such, Pope Francis presided at Mass this morning at St. Peter’s Basilica and gave a homily on the topic of the renewing power of the Holy Spirit (full text, full video, summary video).

Later at noon overlooking St. Peter’s Square, he gave a Regina Caeli address on how the Holy Spirit helps spread the Gospel (full text, full video, summary video).

Released in the news today is a message by Pope Francis for the upcoming World Mission Sunday on October 15th, 2015 (full text).

Today in an Argentinean newspaper was published an interview with Pope Francis (original article in Spanish, extensive text in English). Reading the interview, something that impressed me the most was this quote:

Poverty, corruption, human trafficking… I may be wrong in terms of the figures but what would you say if I asked you: in terms of global spending, what comes after food, clothes and medicine? Cosmetics rank fourth and pets fifth. This is serious, eh. Looking after pets is a bit like programmed love, meaning I can programme the loving reaction of a dog or a kitten and so I don’t need the experience of human reciprocity. I am exaggerating, I don’t mean that literally, but there is cause for concern.

I’ve seen this too, I’ve known a lot of people who use the affection of pets to make up for lack of or not engaging affection with other humans. It is sad. Humans should connect in much greater affection with each other, so that they do not need to engage with pets in such enormous numbers.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Path of Discipleship in Christ

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, including:

members of the ACLI (Christian Associations of Italian Workers, wikipedia page), on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of their founding (full text, full video)
President of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski & entourage (pre-meeting details)
Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov & entourage

Today in El Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Romero was beatified (summary video, official website). Sent by Pope Francis, Cardinal Angelo Amato officiated at the beatification, and Pope Francis also sent letter marking the occasion (full text). As a side note, Sister Irene Stefani was also beatified in Kenya today.

He sent letter to participants of the International Conference “Women and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The Challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals” taking place in Rome, May 22-24, 2015 (full text).

Pope Francis speaking by video message with the John 17: All Be One ecumenical gathering, Phoenix, May 23rd, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking by video message with the John 17: All Be One ecumenical gathering, Phoenix, May 23rd, 2015.

Additionally Pope Francis sent a video message today to the John 17: All Be One conference in Phoenix on Christian unity organized by the John 17 Movement (official website, Facebook page, Twitter) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix (full text, full video, summary video). It was a really really good message on Christian unity, in which he said:

...division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ.

I’d not considered this before, but that is such a super good insight. And he said that such wounds should not remain open! Also, one of my favorite quotes from his video message is:

Theologians help us, the science of theologians will assist us, but if we hope that theologians will agree with one another, we will reach unity the day after Judgement Day.

I love Pope Francis!

As well today, he made some appointments.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Let us invoke the Holy Spirit each day: He guides us along the path of discipleship in Christ. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Just Another Day at the Office

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the topic of listening to God and considering God’s gaze in our listening (more details, summary video). He spoke of three gazes:

1. “this will be your mission” (asking/command)
2. “that gaze transforms [the] heart” (forgiving)
3. “a third gaze: the confirmation of the mission” (acknowledgment)

“He always looks at us with love.” It’s like when a lover looks at their lover, there is communication in the gaze itself, communicating love, acceptance, faithfulness, acknowledgment, etc. God does that with us, too. I love Pope Francis!

Later in the morning Pope Francis went around and toured various departments at the Vatican (more details). In the afternoon he had several audiences, mostly with other Roman Catholic officials.

As well in the news, for greater transparency, Pope Francis and the Commission of Cardinals have chosen not to have monies of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR, the Vatican Bank) placed in an investment fund in Luxembourg for management.

He made some appointments. Additionally, he confirmed the list of additional attendees of the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, for this coming October.

And he sent a tweet, which he also sent out in Arabic:

Lord, send forth your Holy Spirit to bring consolation and strength to persecuted Christians. #free2pray (link)

Additionally, in older news today, though the awarding happened at an unstated date through a monsignor earlier this month, someone in Bathgate, UK, received the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Francis.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Gaze Upon Christ Crucified

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the topic of prayers for Christian unity (more details, summary video).

Audiences:

Pope Francis greeting police of Italy at Pope Paul VI Hall, May 21st, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting police of Italy at Pope Paul VI Hall, May 21st, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received in audience a number of people, including a group of relatives of people gravely injured or killed in service as Italian police, as well as with some officers (full text, summary video).

Messages:

Additionally in the news today is report of Pope Francis sending message to Radio Maria in Ireland, he sent message of condolences and prayers for victims of a mudslide in Columbia, and he sent message to President Cristina Fernández of Argentina marking the country’s founding.

And more:

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

There are times when God is silent, a silence which cannot be understood unless we gaze upon Christ crucified. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Resetting Of The Development Model

Pope Francis listening to a Korean female bell choir at his General Audience at St. Peter’s Square, May 20th, 2015.
Pope Francis listening to a Korean female bell choir at his General Audience at St. Peter’s Square, May 20th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had his General Audience at St. Peter’s Square and gave his address therein on the topic of good parenting (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). Also during the General Audience address, he put his support behind an initiative by Italian bishops to pray this coming Saturday for persecuted Christians around the world (and they’re using the hashtag #free2pray for the initiative) and mentioned remembrance of the upcoming World Day of Prayer for the Church in China (and accompanying this, today China’s president Xi Jinping announced that “Active efforts should be made to incorporate religions into socialist society”). As a part of the General Audience, Pope Francis also met a female bell choir from South Korea (summary video).

Apart from the General Audience, it was reported that Pope Francis received in audience the former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón (tweet 1, tweet 2 w/pic, tweet 3).

Today Pope Francis made some appointments.

Also today, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, gave an address at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross pressing forward toward accomplishment God’s global plans (full text). The conference he spoke at, The New Climate Economy: How Economic Growth and Sustainability Can Go Hand in Hand, brought together a variety of major business and world leaders around the topics of global ecology and the implementation of God’s plans.

...there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation. There is no room for the globalization of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture so often denounced by Pope Francis.

...the path [requires] the resetting of the development model, requiring a major political and economic commitment.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, like Pope Francis, understands very clearly God’s global plans. At the conclusion of the address, he conveyed Pope Francis’ prayers and hope for the conference:

I convey to you the prayerful best wishes of His Holiness Pope Francis and his hope that the discussions and reflections of this Conference may contribute to further and deepen reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals, as well as to finding ways to guarantee access to a truly integral human development for all, especially the poor and the future generations.

God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

In Pope Francis related news:

The Secretary General of the Arab League has welcomed “the Vatican recognition of the Palestinian state.”

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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He Always Understands Us

This morning Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topics of immigration and saying goodbye (more details, summary video).

Pope Francis made some appointments, and he sent a tweet:

God is always waiting for us, he always understands us, he always forgives us. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

There’s an excellent video interview with Cardinal Fernando Filoni regarding ending the conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.


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Preparing for the Jubilee Year of Mercy

This morning in Sala Bologna Ballroom, Pope Francis had a Jubilee Year prep meeting with the prefects and presidents of the various Congregations and Pontifical Councils of the Holy See (summary video). And it has come out in the news that during the meeting the canonization of Mother Teresa is being considered to potentially occur during approximately September of 2016.

Today Pope Francis met with members of the Italian Episcopal Conference for the opening of the General Assembly of Italian bishops (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2).

Also today, Pope Francis met with a group of nuns from the Middle East (full text in Italian, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Four New Saints, Two From Palestine

Pope Francis circling the altar with incence during Mass at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.
Pope Francis circling the altar with incence during Mass at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.
A woman waving a Palestinian flag and Vatican flag to celebrate the canonization of two Palestinian women by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.
A woman waving a Palestinian flag and Vatican flag to celebrate the canonization of two Palestinian women by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.
Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greeting each other after the canonization ceremony of two Palestinian women by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.
Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greeting each other after the canonization ceremony of two Palestinian women by Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square, May 17th, 2015.

Today at a Mass on St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis canonized four new saints from Palestine, Italy and France – all of them women religious (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). He canonized:

• Marie-Alphonsine of Palestine (wikipedia page)
• Mary of Jesus Crucified of Palestine (wikipedia page)
• Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve of France (wikipedia page)
• Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception from Italy (wikipedia page)

Also, there is an excellent article about all four of them. Following the Mass, he gave a Regina Caeli Address during which he asked people to pray for peace in Burundi and spoke of the beatification of the priest Luigi Caburlotto which happened yesterday in Venice (full text).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Our Mission Is The Same

Today Pope Francis met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (more details, summary video). During their meeting, they discussed the agreement in which the Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian State, as well as discussing steps toward ending conflicts in the Middle East. They spoke of many things in their meeting and exchanged gifts, including President Abbas giving Pope Francis several relics of the two nuns Pope Francis is going to canonize on Sunday. One of my favorite parts was at the conclusion when President Abbas said to Pope Francis:

We will always be together because our mission is the same.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!! God is with Pope Francis and Pope Francis is with God.

Pope Francis also had several other audiences, including with a group of women and men religious (article abt. Q & A, full text of Q & A, more details, summary video). During that meeting, quoting the first article link, he told them:

The model the Church needs to follow, “is that of a mother who does not “send away” her children, that would make her a stepmother”. This is how Francis wants the Church to be and he called on religious to commit to this in view of the Holy Year of Mercy that begins on 8 December.

I love Pope Francis!

As well, he made a several appointments (report 1 & report 2).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

It is better to have a Church that is wounded but out in the streets than a Church that is sick because it is closed in on itself. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Christian Joy is a Gift of the Holy Spirit

Pope Francis delivering a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, May 15th, 2015.
Pope Francis delivering a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, May 15th, 2015.

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on the topic of having joy and vitality as Christians (more details, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis received a bunch of people in audience, including:

the president of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis and his entourage (summary video)
• ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See, Daniel Ramada Piendibene, on his farewell visit
bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Central African Republic (summary video)

As well today, Pope Francis sent message of prayers and closeness to the Co-Presidents and Secretary General of Pax Christi International (official website, wikipedia page), an international Catholic peace organization, on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of their founding (full text).

Additionally, today Pope Francis made a number of appointments.

In commentary news:

Looking over the headlines for the day, I saw a homily given last Sunday by Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. It was regarding the relationship between Commandment and Mercy. And when one considers the breadth of eternity, one immense characteristic of God is His ability take back, cancel, or even undo His commands – for if God was forever bound by every command He issued, He would become ever increasingly a prisoner of His own creation. And from examples in the Holy Bible itself, God can and does:

• reverse the sun in its course
• change gravities to force the seas apart
• unwither extremities and make them whole
• etc., etc., etc.

The scriptures are full of examples of God taking back, cancelling, and even undoing His commands. God can undo His commands! Even observing the ways Jesus himself taught us to look at life, it is not so much through the lens of God’s commands, but the mercy of undoing them. I imagine that if Jesus showed up today and someone challenged him regarding if homosexual marriage were alright or not, in response to the challenge, he’d probably say something like:

Is it better to love, or not to love? You should choose to love, and to allow love.

Also, so often when Jesus was challenged regarding “commandments,” he would respond by looking to the natural world around him as a guide to humans’ actual relationship with God. I imagine if he were to respond to homosexuality in such regards, he might say something like:

Do we witness homosexuality in rabbits and other animals? God allows them to experience the joy in their creation. Does God care any less about you?

Jesus’ teachings can help one to actually see and function beyond the commandments which one might perceive as being so extremely hard and fast – to actually have mercy upon one’s self and others, and to thus learn and apply “the new commandment” – “to love one another” — the commandment to unbind people from, to take back, cancel, or even undo so many of the old ones.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you... By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples” (John 13:34-35). And the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy is fast approaching.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Concert

Daniel Oren conducting Pope Francis’ Concert for the Poor, at Paul VI’s Hall at the Vatican, May 14th, 2015.
Daniel Oren conducting Pope Francis’ Concert for the Poor, at Paul VI’s Hall at the Vatican, May 14th, 2015.
The poor and marginalized on the front row at Pope Francis’ Concert for the Poor, at Paul VI’s Hall at the Vatican, May 14th, 2015.
The poor and marginalized on the front row at Pope Francis’ Concert for the Poor, at Paul VI’s Hall at the Vatican, May 14th, 2015.

Today is the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension and as such, it is a Vatican holiday. Nonetheless, today Pope Francis did have an audience with participants in the 4th International Seminar on “Coaches: Educating People” (full text in Italian, extensive text in English, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis sent a letter to the Military Ordinariate of Europe.

And this evening was the “Concert for the Poor” for which the poor, homeless, and marginalized were given front row seats by Pope Francis (summary video). I love Pope Francis!!!!!!

And he made an appointment (more details).

In Pope Francis related news:

There’s been rumor that the ecology encyclical might be delayed in publication, but Father Federico Lombardi has said that everything is just fine and on course.

And that’s the Pope Francis news of the day!


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The Depths of Your Heart

Before his General Audience today, Pope Francis met with organizers and sponsors of the “Concert for the Poor” as well as the music conductor, which takes place tomorrow evening in the Paul VI Hall (full text, summary video).

Pope Francis had his weekly General Audience and address on St. Peter’s Square on how to foster greater respect, honesty, love, and healing between family members (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). As well, today marks the ninety eighth anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Fatima, and so Pope Francis prayed before a statue of her before beginning his address.

Also today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and sent a tweet:

Dear parents, have great patience, and forgive from the depths of your heart. (link)

That is a really good tweet!

In God’s global plan news:

Today, the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine finished their latest meetings regarding a document of agreements between the State of Palestine and the Holy See (press release, summary video). And these agreements are as well recognition by the Holy See of the existence of the State of Palestine. God’s plans step further towards completion – and people are happy about this!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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God Sets The Table

Today Caritas Internationalis began their General Assembly meetings for this week and Pope Francis opened the meetings by leading a Mass and giving at homily this evening at St. Peter’s Basilica (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2). To learn more about the general assembly meetings, there was a press conference today (full video), at which Dominican Father Gustavo Gutierrez spoke (summary video).

Also in the news, Pope Francis has directed for Vatican document handling to be done using USB drives bearing the papal insignia, instead of using paper documents.

As well, it was expressed by Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, that in their preparations with the Vatican for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, that Pope Francis “would be pleased if many of the people arriving in Rome could complete the last part of their journey on foot like real pilgrims,” so they are now looking into having better pedestrian and bicycle routes in the city.

And today Pope Francis made an appointment, and he sent a tweet:

Why is it so difficult to tolerate the faults of others? Have we forgotten that Jesus bore our sins? (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Just two days ago on Sunday, President Raul Castro of Cuba said that he might return to becoming Roman Catholic if Pope Francis keeps things going the way he is, well in the news today (though it was reported early last week), Al Gore in the U.S. also imagines that he “could become a Catholic” due to Pope Francis being such an inspiring spiritual leader.

Also in the news, though I’ve seen many reports of late that many, many Roman Catholic leaders are coming out in favor of communion for divorced people, and in favor of homosexual partnerships, there is a report in the news that statistically, since the Synod of Bishops last October, Pope Francis has dramatically cut back on his public statements in support of innovations in these realms. I imagine that the cutting back is a lot to do stepping back to let the church digest it all during the year between the synods.

In God’s global plan news:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, wrote a letter to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone which some or all of which has, through several venues, been made public. Benedict XVI’s general focus of the letter is on God’s global plan, what it is, and how God is making the churches and people of the earth to be! Super good things!!!!!!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Peace Factory Visits Pope Francis

Pope Francis speaking to children and adults from the Peace Factory organization, May 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking to children and adults from the Peace Factory organization, May 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting and blessing a child participant of the Peace Factory organization, May 11th, 2015.
Pope Francis greeting and blessing a child participant of the Peace Factory organization, May 11th, 2015.

This morning Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta (more details, summary video).

As well today, Pope Francis had several audiences, including with:

a gathering of children and adults from the Peace Factory organization (more details, full dialogue & address in Italian, extensive text of Q&A in English, extensive text of address in English, full video, summary video).
Argentine Nobel Peace Prize winner (1980), Adolfo Maria Pérez Esquivel (In Spanish: more details & more details). They spoke on Argentina, the meeting with President Raul Castro the day before, the canonization of Oscar Romero, and the encyclical on ecology.
bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Togo for their ad Limina visit (full text).

Also today, Pope Francis made several appointments.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Castro Visits Pope Francis

Pope Francis meeting with Raul Castro at the Vatican, May 10th, 2015.
Pope Francis meeting with Raul Castro at the Vatican, May 10th, 2015.

This morning Pope Francis met with President Raul Castro of Cuba (press release, more details and more details, summary video). In a press conference following the encounter, Castro said, “If the Pope keeps going the way he’s going, I’ll come back to the Catholic Church.” I love Pope Francis!!!!!!!

Also today, Pope Francis gave a Regina Caeli Address overlooking St. Peter’s Square on the topic of loving each other (full text, full video, summary video). At the end of the address, he expressed gratitude towards all mothers present, as today is celebrated as Mothers Day in many countries, and he greeted those participating in the March for Life held in Rome this weekend.

Today Pope Francis also sent several messages, one to His Holiness Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark (full text), and another to the Bishop of Savona-Noli, Vittorio Lupi, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Coronation of Our Lady of Mercy, by Pius VII (full text in Italian).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Live With Kindness

Today Pope Francis received a number of people in audience, including bishops of Mozambique on their ad Limina visit, meeting with them and giving them a written address (full text).

Pope Francis also sent message to the participants in a major interreligious gathering in Israel, organized by the Neocatechumenal Way (more details, full text). Cardinal George Pell celebrated Mass and gave a homily therein to close the three day gathering (full text).

And today, Pope Francis made an appointment, and he sent a tweet:

Let us learn to live with kindness, to love everyone, even when they do not love us. (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Prayers from the Pastors

Pastor Giovanni Traettino and a group of other Pentecostal pastors praying for Pope Francis, at the Vatican, May 8th, 2015.
Pastor Giovanni Traettino and a group of other Pentecostal pastors praying for Pope Francis, at the Vatican, May 8th, 2015.
Pastor Giovanni Traettino and a group of other Pentecostal pastors praying for Pope Francis, at the Vatican, May 8th, 2015. (source 1 & 2)

This morning Pope Francis had Mass at Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on the topic of Christian unity (more details, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis receive a good many people in audience, including:

members of the Italian Tennis Federation (extensive text in English, full text in Italian, summary video)
a group of Pentecostal pastors led by Pastor Giovanni Traettino

Today in the news was released the full text of the Statutes for the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the document Pope Francis issued for the creation of that commission (more details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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God’s Plan Moves Forward

This morning Pope Francis gave a morning homily at Casa Santa Marta on the topic of the meaning of true love (summary video).

Today Pope Francis had a few audiences, including with:

the Lazio Sports Society, a popular sports club in Rome (more details, full text, summary video)
bishops of Mali on their ad Limina visit (full text, list of bishops)
members of the Joint Committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) (full text, summary video). At which Pope Francis said:

Today the Churches and ecclesiastical communities in Europe are faced with new and decisive challenges to which they can find effective answers only by speaking with one voice.

Today Pope Francis made several appointments.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

When we cannot earn our own bread, we lose our dignity. This is a tragedy today, especially for the young. (link)

Given this tweet, seeing an article today on Roman Catholic bishops in Chile reporting “the loss of confidence in social relations and in leadership at all levels,” and even the violence in Baltamore and elsewhere throughout all the earth – here are a few more words:

God has now created an industrialized world where not all people are required to work, while having all people be sustained well. Part of God’s plan for the planet Earth is for all people to have dignity, but not based on it being “earned.” The tragedy of so many people being unable to find “work” is God’s pathway to new ways for humans to live together.

New systems and non-qualifying relational constructs of ownership should be created for humans to functionally engage with God’s plan — balancing individual self and a wellness common for all. And it should have definition such that it can exist with and quickly replace the older constructs.

Across the earth, God sets the new relational constructs in peoples’ hearts and minds.

In Pope Francis related news:

In the news today is an excellent summary of Pope Francis’ latest special envoy to the Iraq region, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri’s journey through and around Iraq to express Pope Francis’ closeness to the people there.

There’s an excellent short video interview with Cardinal Parolin regarding the Holy See helping to mend relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Great Mission of Love

Pope Francis receiving a jersey to be an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters, at St. Peter’s Square, May 6th, 2015.
Pope Francis receiving a jersey to be an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters, at St. Peter’s Square, May 6th, 2015.
The Harlem Globetrotters teaching Pope Francis how to spin a basketball on his finger, at St. Peter’s Square, May 6th, 2015.
The Harlem Globetrotters teaching Pope Francis how to spin a basketball on his finger, at St. Peter’s Square, May 6th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had his General Audience and address continuing on the topic of the meaning of Christian marriage (full text, full video, summary video). As well at the audience Pope Francis met several members of the Harlem Globetrotters! (more details, summary video), he met pilgrims from the Wenzhou diocese in mainland China, he met with Shari Unger-Klages and showed him her father’s relic from his experience in the WWII Dachau concentration camp (summary video), and he met with members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and they received his endorsement of their work.

Besides the General Audience, there was reported several other and another audience today with Pope Francis, as well.

At the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis spoke of the commemoration of World War II coming up on the calendar, and it was also reported today that he is preparing a more extensive message for that commemoration.

Also today Pope Francis made several decrees (summary video) and an array of appointments.

And in Pope Francis related news:

Today in a big ceremony, the new recruits to the Swiss Guard took their oath (full video, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Roll the Care on to the LORD

This morning Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily at Casa Santa Marta (more details, summary video). He spoke of how tribulation can be a big part of life, but that relying on God brings peace. He spoke of putting our trust in God for everything:

...to entrust something to the Lord, entrust this difficult moment to the Lord, entrust oneself to the Lord, entrust our faithful to the Lord, our priests, bishops, entrust our families to the Lord, our friends. [And go to God and say,] “Take care of these, they are yours.”

The address reminded me a lot of a two week series over at Kenneth Copeland Ministries they had in April on Developing a Strong Spirit (week one and week two). During first day of the second week of the broadcast, one of the things they spoke of was, when worry might come along:

You need to roll the care of this on to the LORD.

Anyway, that was a big theme of week two, and a theme of Pope Francis in today’s morning homily. And it just happens, there is also an excellent summary article today on Pope Francis’ relationship with that Christian ministry.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

It is good for us to spend time before the Tabernacle, to feel the gaze of Jesus upon us. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Lots has come out today regarding the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Particularly, there was a press conference where events of the coming year were revealed, as well as a logo and a prayer (extensive text, full video, summary video). And today I saw was posted the calendar for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Also today, Father Federico Lombardi had a press conference regarding peace education in schools and spoke much of Pope Francis’ support and reform work in such regards.

As well in the news, Pope Francis’ efforts to open the Vatican archives regarding Argentina’s military dictatorships are continuing to make progress.

Though I’ve seen other articles in which Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has praised Pope Francis, there is yet another in the news, today.

As well, tomorrow is this year’s swearing in ceremony for new Swiss Guards who defend Pope Francis, and here’s a really really good interview with one of the new guards!

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Further Steps on the Path of Unity

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, plus another, including:

meeting with a delegation of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Sweden, lead by a female bishop (more details, full text in Italian, extensive text in English, summary video). In the meeting, they discussed and worked towards greater ecumenical unity between Lutherans and the Roman Catholic church.
also receiving in audience and addressed bishops of Congo on their ad Limina (full text in French).

Pope Francis also visited with new recruits to the Swiss Guard who’ll be sworn in on Wednesday (full text in Italian, extensive text in English, video clip).

He sent message honoring the 750th anniversary of the birth of Italian poet Dante Alighieri (full text in Italian).

And Pope Francis made an appointment.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Pope Francis Visits Ostia

Pope Francis arriving at the Ostia district of Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis arriving at the Ostia district of Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Crowds of people gathered in Ostia, Rome, to greet Pope Francis, May 3rd, 2015.
Crowds of people gathered in Ostia, Rome, to greet Pope Francis, May 3rd, 2015.

Today Pope Francis gave a Regina Caeli address overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video).

Also today, Pope Francis visited the district of Ostia, Rome’s ancient port.

On his way to Ostia, Pope Francis changed some of his plans and route and stopped in and visited a village of amusement park workers. A good friend of the pope, Sister Geneveive of the Little Sisters of Jesus of Charles de Foucald was there to greet him and lead him around the village (more details in Italian, summary video). And if you happen to know Italian, here’s a good video interview with Sister Geneveive (fast-forward to about 16 minutes in) regarding the encounter.

After visiting the amusement park workers, Pope Francis made his way to the Roman parish of Santa Maria Regina Pacis, or St. Mary Queen of Peace in Ostia (full text, full video, summary video). While there, he spoke with several groups, including visiting some youth scouts, some elderly and ill people, and had Mass at the parish and gave a homily.

Pope Francis speaking with a crowd of people in the Ostia district of Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking with a crowd of people in the Ostia district of Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis blessing an elderly man at the parish of St. Mary Queen of Peace, in Ostia, Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis blessing an elderly man at the parish of St. Mary Queen of Peace, in Ostia, Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis giving a homily at Mass at the parish of St. Mary Queen of Peace, in Ostia, Rome, May 3rd, 2015.
Pope Francis giving a homily at Mass at the parish of St. Mary Queen of Peace, in Ostia, Rome, May 3rd, 2015.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Janiculum Hill Pope Francis Goes

Pope Francis speaking at the Pontifical North American College, May 2nd, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking at the Pontifical North American College, May 2nd, 2015.

This morning Pope Francis attended the funeral for Cardinal Giovanni Canestri and performed last rites (details in Italian).

Today at the Pontifical North American College, at Rome’s Janiculum Hill (wikipedia page), a day of reflection on Blessed Junipero Serra was held, including having a Mass. Pope Francis attended and gave a homily at the Mass on Junipero Serra (full text, summary video).

For more about Blessed Junipero Serra, there is a good video out today about him.

Also while there at the college, Pope Francis got to meet a number of students there, including one for whom he blessed a picture and statue to the parents of two young girls who lost their lives in a house fire in the U.S.

Also today, Pope Francis had several audiences, including with pilgrims from the Diocese of Isernia-Venafro (full text).

As well in the news today, Pope Francis telephone called Italian politician Emma Bonino (wikipedia page).

Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, have sent messages of support to the Lombardian Region of Italy.

Also today, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop Emeritus of Prague, to be his special envoy to the 600th anniversary of the death of John Hus, to be held July 5-6 in Prague.

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

The love of Christ fills our hearts and makes us always able to forgive! (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Opening of EXPO 2015

Today Pope Francis spoke by video broadcast at the opening of EXPO 2015 in Milan (more details, full text in Italian, summary video). I loved how he opened his address:

It is the voice of the Bishop of Rome, who speaks on behalf of the pilgrim people of God in the whole world.

And while Pope Francis spoke about the dignity all humans and taking care of each other, riots against the expo roiled the city of Milan. By so many reports of horrors and disasters in the whole world, on so many fronts, God puts humanity’s feet to the fire, but He also has Pope Francis speaking “on behalf of the pilgrim people of God.”

Also today, Pope Francis dropped into a Swiss Guard ceremony this afternoon. He gave a speech and gave a blessing unto the guards, and their families and friends in attendance.

And in late breaking Pope Francis news:

There’s also a story this week of an Italian man getting cold-called by Pope Francis and hanging up on him twice thinking that it was a prank. On the third call, the man finally realized that it really was Pope Francis (more details). There is also an article today mentioning that Pope Francis wrote to Jimmy Carter last year after Carter sent him an extensive text he’d published and sent to various world leaders.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Very Long Day

Pope Francis speaks with members of the Cursillo Movement, April 30th, 2015. Archbishop Georg Gänswein sits off to the side.
Pope Francis speaks with members of the Cursillo Movement, April 30th, 2015. Archbishop Georg Gänswein sits off to the side.

Today Pope Francis had morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on the topic of living life in the service of others (more details, summary video).

And today, Pope Francis received in audience a bunch of people and groups throughout the day and into the evening:

Bishop Robert Francis Provost
members of the Community of Christian Life in Italy and the Missionary League for Italian Students, which are both Jesuit organizations. Pope Francis took and answered questions from the audience (full text of Q&A in Italian, other text in Italian, summary video). It was soooooo good!!!!! He spoke of how in our globalized world, people should come first and not money.
members of the Cursillo Movement (full text in Italian, extensive text in English, full video, summary video).
members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (more details, full text, full video, commentary article). For those not informed, at this meeting, the Anglican and Roman churches are not quite yet “in communion” with each other (generally meaning that their priests do not administer in each others’ church services), but they both consider themselves “Catholic” (part of the universal church). As such, the meeting of this commission and their meeting with Pope Francis is simply one step closer to full communion between the churches.
James Alix Michel, President of the Republic of the Seychelles. And here’s an interesting article written by a young reporter who went to the audience.

Yesterday Cardinal Giovanni Canestri passed away, and today, Pope Francis sent message of gratitude for his life (full text).

And today, Pope Francis sent a tweet:

Amid so many problems, even grave, may we not lose our hope in the infinite mercy of God. (link)

Although this actually occurred on April 23, the official press release came out today that Pope Francis approved the formation of a Vatican Media Committee and appointed members to be on that committee.

In Pope Francis related news:

I don’t usually report on events-yet-to-happen, but since it’s all over the headlines today... it was announced (full video of press conference, press release in Italian) that the Vatican is having on a big concert the evening of May 14th and inviting and having a whole bunch of the poor and even prisoners from local prisons to be front-row guests of honor at the concert. This is one more example — Pope Francis and the Vatican are providing templates and examples for the world to follow, it’s part of God’s plans for the planet, that even those who cannot seem to fit-in socially, politically, and/or economically should not to be excluded from tender care and provision:

The poorest of the poor will find pasture, the needy will lie down in safety. – Isaiah 14:30 (NIV)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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He “Saved the Celebration”

Today Pope Francis gave a General Audience address at St. Peter’s Square on the topic of the importance of younger people getting married (full text, full video, summary video 1, summary video 2).

[Of] the Wedding at Cana.... Not only did Jesus participate in that marriage, but he “saved the celebration” with his miracle of the wine!

Also in the news today are two follow-up interviews with people who had encounters with Pope Francis in the past two days:

There is an interview with Riccardo Di Segni regarding how his visit went with Pope Francis on Monday, and it was revealed that he is preparing for Pope Francis to visit the Rome synagogue, but did not reveal the date. Also, There is an interview with President Correa regarding how his visit went on Tuesday.

Additionally today, it was announced that the UN founded group Hands Off Cain awarded Pope Francis their annual Abolitionist of the Year award (other details).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Brother or Sister to Listen

This morning Pope Francis had Mass a Casa Santa Marta and gave a homily on the power of the Holy Spirit (more details, summary video).

Today Pope Francis met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (summary video). They discussed many topics, but particularly climate change. Later in the day, Ban Ki-moon met with and addressed the International Symposium on climate change, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Science at the Vatican (full text).

Also today, Pope Francis received in audience Rafael Correa, President of Equador, and discussed the details of his coming visit to Equador in July (summary video).

As well, today Pope Francis sent a video message to people living at a Caritas shelter in the diocese of Rome, who are performing at a theater this evening in Rome (more details, full text, full video & text in Italian).

And on behalf of Pope Francis, to express his closeness to the people in Nepal, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum is sending $100,000 in earthquake aid relief to Nepal.

Additionally today, Pope Francis made some appointments, and today he sent a tweet:

Every Christian community must be a welcoming home for those searching for God, for those searching for a brother or sister to listen to them. (link)

In Pope Francis related news:

There is an excellent video interview posted with one of the priests who was ordained by Pope Francis on Sunday. And there is a super good article on Pope Francis’ popularity on Twitter — estimating him as the “most influential” (original article, summary video).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Queen Silvia Comes for a Visit

Queen Silvia of Sweden with her granddaughter Leonore, visiting Pope Francis, April 27th, 2015.
Queen Silvia of Sweden with her granddaughter Leonore, visiting Pope Francis, April 27th, 2015.
Queen Silvia of Sweden visiting Pope Francis, April 27th, 2015.
Queen Silvia of Sweden visiting Pope Francis, April 27th, 2015.

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people, including:

Queen Silvia of Sweden, her daughter, princess Magdalena and husband Christopher O’Neill, and their one year old daughter Leonore (summary video)
the bishops of Benin, as part of their ad Limina visit (full text, summary video)
Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome

Also today, Pope Francis made an appointment.

As well today, Pope Francis bestowed upon Manhattan Rabbi Arthur Schneier the honor of being a Knight of St. Sylvester. Cardinal Timothy Dolan delivered the knighthood in a ceremony today.

Also in the news, a previously unpublished lecture of Pope Francis has been published in a new book An Introduction to the Theology of the People and parts of the lecture were published yesterday in the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Nineteen New Priests

Pope Francis with two of the priests he ordained that day, blessing the pilgrims at the end of the Regina Caeli prayer, overlooking St. Peter’s Square, April 26, 2015.
Pope Francis with two of the priests he ordained today, blessing the pilgrims at the end of the Regina Caeli prayer, overlooking St. Peter’s Square, April 26, 2015.

Today Pope Francis ordained nineteen new priests at St. Peter’s Basilica and gave a homily in which he encouraged the new priests with tips to being the best priests they can be (full text, full video, lots of pictures, summary video 1, summary video 2). Reading his homily, it’s completely beautiful. Here’s just a few bits from it:

As you know, the Lord Jesus is the only High Priest of the New Testament, but also in Him all the holy people of God were constituted as priestly people. All of us! Nevertheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wants to choose a few in particular, for exercising the priesthood publicly in the Church, in the favor of all men, continuing His personal mission of master, priest and pastor.

Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! ...I ask you not to grow weary of being merciful. In the confessional, you are to going to forgive, not to condemn! Imitate the Father who never gets tired of forgiving.

...Strive to unite the faithful in one family - Be ministers of unity in the Church, in family - leading them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit.

I love Pope Francis!!!!!

After the ordinations, at noon he gave a Regina Caeli address from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square (full text, full video, summary video). And it was so really really good when he got to the part when he recited the Regina Caeli prayer in Latin, he invited two of the priests he had ordained that morning to join him at the window in reciting the prayer. At the end, before saying the blessing upon the pilgrims there, he invited the new priests to join him in blessing the crowd by making the sign of the cross three times with him:

Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus, (May almighty God bless you)
Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus. (the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.)

It was so super moving to watch that part. For the full prayer and English translation, see this link. Also as part of the address, he expressed his prayers for the victims of yesterday’s earthquake in Nepal, spoke of today being the day Sister Maria Elisa Turgeon is being declared as blessed.

As well today, Pope Francis sent a telegram to the 6th Regional Convention of the Divine Mercy, being held in Sicily, Italy (full text).

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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To Bring the Mercy and Tenderness of God to All

Pope Francis speaking to members of the John Paul II Foundation, in Clementine Hall, April 25, 2015.
Pope Francis speaking to members of the John Paul II Foundation, in Clementine Hall, April 25, 2015.

Today Pope Francis had a number of audiences, including with:

members of the Pope John Paul II Foundation (full text, summary video)
Colombia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Guillermo León Escobar Herrán

Also today, it was reported that Pope Francis sent message to and prayers for victims of a major earthquake which happened today in Nepal (full text).

Today it was announced that Pope Francis has expressed the hope of visiting Fatima in 2017.

Tomorrow, Pope Francis is to ordain nineteen new priests at St. Peter’s Basilica, and this evening, a prayer vigil was held which was likely attended by Pope Francis (summary video).

And today Pope Francis sent a tweet:

We Christians are called to go out of ourselves to bring the mercy and tenderness of God to all. (link)

And in Pope Francis related news:

By the assignment of Pope Francis, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Sciences have been working together “to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking,” and as such have just launched the #EndSlavery social media movement and website www.EndSlavery.va.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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