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Pope Francis

These are the names of the 17 new cardinals the pope appointed at the consistory

November 19, 2016. 13 of them are under the age of 80, and thus able to vote in a hypothetical conclave, and four of them are non-electors.

Vatican congratulates Trump and hopes his time in office "can truly be fruitful"

November 9, 2016. While speaking to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, congratulated the new president and hoped that his government "can truly be fruitful."

Vatican strongly reacts to episcopal ordinations in China made without pope's permission

November 7, 2016. "In recent weeks, there has been a series of reports regarding some episcopal ordinations conferred without Papal Mandate of priests of the unofficial community of the Catholic Church in Continental China,” explains the Vatican in a letter signed by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.

World Leprosy Day: Fighting a curable disease is still a battle in underdeveloped countries


When she was 10 years old the young girl from Kenya was diagnosed with leprosy. Felicita says some of her family members abandoned her while she struggled with the nightmare of the disease. But now telling her story is a dream come true.

Thousands of people all around the globe are fighting leprosy today. On World Leprosy Day people like Flavio Cimini from The Italian Association of friends of Raoul Follereau, or AIFO, aim to raise money and raise public awareness.

Flavio Cimini
“We are also using this day to fight the disease of indifference, the disease of selfishness that’s embedded mostly  in rich countries the nations where we live.”

Leprosy, a disease caused by bacteria known to cause damage to the skin, nerves and limbs, is on the decline.

According to World Health Organization the number of new cases of leprosy decreased by nearly 50 percent since 2002 mainly due to the effectiveness of multi-drug therapies. Still the number of new cases in India and Brazil are startling. Combined, they registered more than 172 thousand new cases in 2008.

Flavio Cimini

“Leprosy is a disease that still exists especially in developing countries, it’s a illness that many people forget about but affects thousands.”

In 1954, Raoul Follereau established World Leprosy Day he is the person who inspired AIFO. He was a journalist who much like Father Damian, dedicated his life to the fight the disease and the stigma attached to it.

Flavio Cimini

“Father Damian was a saint who was very special, he experienced first hand discrimination because of the disease. In fact he himself died from leprosy.”

Pope Benedict XVI canonized Father Damian last Fall, an event that brought a lot of attention to the cause against leprosy. This year AIFO will also give jar of honey to those who donate money and the NGO is promoting a new book to raise awareness.

Flavio Cimini
“As with everything, public awareness is important, we can’t just ignore this because we are all part of the global community, and like Raoul Follereau would say we all live under the same sky the same sun.”

For Felicita, the sky is the limit. She is cured, and back at school on her way to fulfilling another dream, she hopes to be doctor someday and help fight the disease she once lived with.