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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.

Biography of John Paul II


His story began in the small polish town of  Wadowice on May 18, 1920. He was baptized one month later. He said it was here that his vocation as a Christian and for the priesthood was born. 

After finishing high school, he enrolled at the Jagiellonian University of Krakow to study Polish philology and also enrolled in an acting school.

But the war and the Nazi occupation would change his plans. 

John Paul II
On one hand, you can say that my youth was marked by the Divine Providence because many of my friends lost their lives in very different circumstances, in the war or in concentration camps. This is called “Shoa” which in Hebrew means “extermination of people”. All of this belongs to the history of our century and I’ve lived this story during my youth. And through this suffering, I learned to see the real world in a profound way.

At the age of 19, he started working at a stone quarry and later at a chemical factory in Solvay to earn a living and avoid deportation to Germany. Three years later, he decided to join an underground seminary organized by the bishop of Krakow, Cardinal Sapieha. 

John Paul II
That experience as a worker and a "clandestine" seminarian has stayed with me all my life. I used to take books with me to the factory during my eight-hour shift, during the day or at night. My workmates were rather surprised, but not scandalized. Indeed, they said, "We will help you, you can rest and in your place we will keep an eye [on the boilers] instead of you". So I was also able to do the exams with my professors. Everything under wraps.

This training, which helped him better understand the world, ended with his  ordination on November 1, 1946, the Solemnity of All Saints. A few friends and family members were the only witnesses at the ceremony which took place at the residence of the archbishop of Krakow.

John Paul II
As well as passing the exam, I was able to realize that metaphysics and Christian philosophy gave me a new vision of the world, a deeper perception of reality. Up to then, I had only done humanistic studies linked to literature and letters. Through metaphysics and philosophy, I found a key, the key to an understanding and perception of the world. I daresay, to be able to reach a definitive understanding.

Karol Wojtyla continued to be the same person he always was and he kept up his interest in literature and theatre. The only difference - the one that would make him become one of the most beloved men in church history - was his faith. He will always be remember for his commitment to follow Christ, his love for every person emanating from him and his dedication to children, young people and the underprivileged.