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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:

Chiara Luce Badano: Eighteen-year-old girl of the Focolare Movement will be beatified in September


Chiara was born in 1971. Her father was a truck driver and her mother a housewife. A sports fan, those who knew her described her as an open girl, concerned for others and very close to her parents. The three were members of the Focolare Movement.

Member Focolare Movement
“Her mother says Chiara and her would exchange small acts of kindness. They kept track by collecting pebbles in their pockets. In the end Chiara always had more pebbles than her mother .”

Member Focolare Movement
“I have seen all the coherence and the radicalism of Chiara’s life in the life of her parents.”

At age nine she found the spirit of the Focolare Movement in a festival celebrated in Rome. It caught the attention of the Badano family, which shared everything. From this moment, they joined the movement, and the young Chiara and the founder, Chiara Lubich, formed a great friendship, which is reflected in the letters they sent each other.

Member Focolare Movement
“Chiara Luce is the name that Chiara Lubich would give her after the long correspondence they had since she was a child. She got this name in the last period of her life.”

Member Focolare Movement
“Chiara began to write her letters addressed to Chiara Lubich with ‘hi mom’, which shows that for her she was like a mother. And Chiara has known God through the movement founded by Chiara Lubich.”

One day, the 17-year old was playing when she felt a sharp pain in her back. After several tests, the doctors thought it was a problem with her spinal cord. It turned out to be a malignant tumor. When they diagnosed her, it was very advanced. She had two operations, without success.

Member Focolare Movement
“In the last moments she refused morphine that could have lessened her physical pain, because she entered into another logic, the one to offer everything. At one  moment she said, the only thing left is the pain, and if I can’t offer this, what can I offer?”

Member Focolare Movement
“She got sick when she was a teenager and died while she was young, but always trying to live through difficulties with a smile, trying to be love for everyone else.”

Benedict XVI has recognized as a miracle through Chiara Luce’s intercession the extraordinary cure of an Italian boy with a grave illness. Now the 18-year-old girl will be raised to the altar on September 25.