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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Pope explains the significance of Lent and Ash Wednesday

2012-02-22

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 


Today the Church celebrates Ash Wednesday, the beginning of her Lenten journey towards Easter.  The entire Christian community is invited to live this period of forty days as a pilgrimage of repentance, conversion and renewal.  

In the Bible, the number forty is rich in symbolism.  It recalls Israel’s journey in the desert, a time of expectation, purification and closeness to the Lord, but also a time of temptation and testing.  It also evokes Jesus’ own sojourn in the desert at the beginning of his public ministry, a time of profound closeness to the Father in prayer, but also of confrontation with the mystery of evil.   

The Church’s Lenten discipline is meant to help deepen our life of faith and our imitation of Christ in his paschal mystery.  

In these forty days may we draw nearer to the Lord by meditating on his word and example, and conquer the desert of our spiritual aridity, selfishness and materialism.  For the whole Church may this Lent be a time of grace in which God leads us, in union with the crucified and risen Lord, through the experience of the desert to the joy and hope brought by Easter.



I greet all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, especially those from England, Belgium, Norway, Canada and the United States.  I offer a special welcome to the faithful of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham on the occasion of their pilgrimage to the See of Peter.  I greet the pilgrim group from the Diocese of Antwerp, and I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song.  With prayerful good wishes for a spiritually fruitful Lent, I invoke upon all of you God’s abundant blessings!