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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:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

The five newest Saints in the Catholic Church


Matthew Bunson
Author, St. Damien of Molokai

“This Belgian priest living in Hawaii became bigger than both Belgium and Hawaii, justifiably celebrated by both. But by the time of that immense suffering that he underwent in Molokai he had become a truly international figure”.

The missionary spirit in him would shape the mold of his service to others. Damien prayed to be sent abroad. His prayers were finally answered in the form of a missionary trip to Hawaii to 1864, the same year he was ordained priest.

Another European, Rafael Arnaiz Baron, known also as Brother Rafael, was also given a place on the altars. He was born in Spain in 1911 and died at the age of 27 as an oblate of the Trappists of Saint Isidore de Dueñas

He left his studies behind in 1934 to become a monk, something he did for only a few years because of the strong diabetes he suffered. He had an affinity for the Eucharist, the Virgin and God’s providence over history.

Another Spaniard, Francis Coll was also canonized. He was a Dominican priest who the pope described as one eagerly dedicated to proclaim the Gospel.

Francis was conscious of the ignorance surrounding religion which is why he founded the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary who dedicated themselves to educating girls, a group Francis considered the pillar of society.

Padre Vito Tomás Gómez
Postulador Francisco Coll y Guitart

“He discovered that women have a privileged role in the construction of society and that this role couldn’t be well carried out without formation, schools for girls and an education that Francis understood as the best”.

Blessed Archbishop Zygmunt Szsczęsny Felińsk was also named saint. He founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of the family of Mary and was Archbishop of Warsaw.

Archbishop Felinsk defended his fellow Poles who were pushing back against Russian annexation in the latter part of the 19th century. He died in exile and would never see Poland again.

Teresa Antonietta Fracek

“During the last years of his life he was Archbishop of Tarso a Dzwiniaczka which was under Austrian rule. His biographers say he did a remarkable amount of priestly, educational and social work”.

The last new saint, Marie de la Croix Jugan, comes from France. She founded the Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and once took an elderly blind woman she found on the street into her home.

Sr. Julie Horesman
Congregation of the Little Sisters of the Poor

“She didn’t have the intention of doing anything big, she was just doing an act of charity for one person she knew and knew need her help.”

Five exceptional figures celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, recognized for their work in their service to others and to God.