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Pope Francis

Nicolás Maduro meets with the pope in surprise visit to Rome

October 24, 2016. Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. The private visit took place in the midst of the "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people,” according to a statement from the Vatican.

Holy See and Vietnam begin their 6th bilateral meeting today

October 24, 2016. The sixth meeting between the Holy See and a delegation of Vietnam begins today to improve relations between the two states. The Vatican delegation is headed by Antoine Camilleri, while the head of the Vietnamese delegation is Bui Thanh Son, with Foreign Affairs. The last meeting between the two state delegations was in September 2014.
Pope Francis

Pope to award 2016 Ratzinger Prize to Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles

October 20, 2016. The winners of this year's Ratzinger Prize will be Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. The former, an Italian priest, is an expert in Systematic Theology and History of Medieval Theology. The latter is Greek and an Orthodox. He is an expert in History of Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology. He will be the first Orthodox to be awarded the prize given by the Joseph Ratzinger Foundation, considered by many the Nobel Prize of Theology.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis sends his condolences to Thais after the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

October 14, 2016. Pope Francis has sent a message to the Prime Minister of Thailand to express his condolences for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was 88 years old, and his reign spanned seven decades. Pope Francis said he is "deeply saddened” and he expresses his closeness to the members of the royal family and the Thai people.
Pope Francis

Pope sends 100,000 dollars for Hurricane Matthew victims

October 14, 2016. Through the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", Pope Francis will send $100,000 to the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The money will fund relief efforts in the first stages of recovery after the devastating effects of the hurricane. With this gesture, the pope wants to express his "closeness of spirit and fatherly support” to everyone in the affected area.
Pope Francis

Pope authorizes new decrees of heroic virtues for four potential saints

October 11, 2016. Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues to four people, who are being investigated by the Church for possible sainthood. The decrees were given to the following "Servants of God:”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis rejects death penalty on Twitter: #NoDeathPenalty

October 10, 2016. The Pope has has given his support via Twitter to the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The following message can be read in each of his nine accounts, in their respective languages: "Punishment should necessarily include hope! #NoDeathPenalty.”
Pope Francis

Pope Francis announces Synod about youth and vocation

October 6, 2016. It will be held in 2018 under the name "Youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” Preparations for the second Synod of bishops convened by Pope Francis are well underway.

Theme chosen for 2017 World Communications Day

September 29, 2016. The theme for the 2017 World Communications Day has officially been announced. Coming from the book of Isiah, the theme is: "Fear not, for I am with you: communicating hope and trust in our time.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:

Padre Pio: More than the saint of stigmas


His name was Francesco and he was born on May 25, 1887. His parents, who were Christian were not at all surprised when he decided to become a capuchin. At 23, he was ordained a priest.

He couldn’t join the order for six years because of his health problems. Once he entered the San Giovanni Rotondo convent his main ministry was to hear confessions to which he dedicated 14 hours of his day.

Friar Francesco Dileo
Order of Capuchins

It was in religious life where he became saintly. He lived the virtues of religious life in a very deep manner. This showed the world a great saint, a man who decided to devote his life to the service of God and men.

But God asked more of him. In 1918, when he was 31, his hands and his side began to reveal signs of the same wounds Christ suffered on the cross caused by the nails and spear that penetrated his hands and side.

Friar Francesco Dileo
Order of Capuchins

He accepted to participate in the passion of Christ. But he didn’t need these external signs. He said, “Why do I need this confusion?” Because he knew the expectations that these stigmas would spark around him.”

Padre Pio gained quite a following due to the physical signs on his body, his pastoral care for those who visited San Giovanni Rotondo, and the miracles attributed to him. He received hundreds of letters from people asking for his help.

There were so many that the brothers of his order had to help him read them all.
He didn’t rest much, yet he was still happy. To avoid possible confusion, the Vatican asked him to live a non-public life, and he obeyed.

Eleven years later, Pope Pius XII allowed him to continue his public ministry and he received Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Friar Francesco Dileo
Order of Capuchins

They say a person came to Padre Pio to ask for his help in building a hospital. He was a doctor or engineer. He said, “I don’t believe in God,” And Padre Pio responded, “Don’t worry. God believes in you.”

Today, his witness is still remembered and celebrated. His example and words continue to leave those devoted to him in awe. Apart from the extraordinary events surrounding Padre Pio’s life, it was his simplicity and care for others that still inspires people today.