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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:

A look at the life of Chilean engineer Mario Hiriart and his cause for beatification


For years, priest Carlos Cox has looked into the life of Mario Hiriart and he is convinced that the Chilean man lived a saintly life.

He was born into a small family in the city of Santiago in 1931. Even though his family wasn't very devout, he decided to take his faith more seriously in school. Thanks to a priest, he met the Schoenstatt movement, where he learned to exploit his talents to help others and ultimately, to lead them to God.

"Interestingly, many from his very generation came to be the founding fathers of Schoenstatt. He obviously considered it as well, but he knew that he had a different vocation. His vocation was to show the spirit of God to others through his work as a consecrated layman.”

When he was 20 years old, he had a powerful encounter with God, during a nature excursion.  It was there, that he realized his vocation was to be a consecrated layman of the Brothers of Mary, which was founded by prisoners of Nazi regime.

Vice-Postulator in Chile

"Because it was born in a concentration camp, the idea is that the world has to be renewed from Christ. We could not face a world without people who bring the message of Christ by means of a modern language, a new culture, and a  new civilization.”

He began working as an engineer at a Chilean company that only hired engineers and economist of high prestige. Mario Hiriart, was one of them. Even though he was successful at a very young age, he thought he could have a greater impact in a university.
Vice-Postulator in Chile

"He was hired at a company that was known as the engine of Chilean development during the 50's and 60's. But, his vocations led him to help young people where going through the process of growth and maturity.”

So, he left that job and became a full time professor at the Catholic University of Chile, where his enthusiasm and smile are still remembered. However, he had many health problems and his full commitment to educating the youth, sometimes created tension between the Schoenstatt movement.

In 1964, he traveled to the U.S  to speak with the movement's founder, Father Joseph Kentenich. During his trip he was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died a day after his meeting with at the age 33.

His life was recorded and those documents are now at the Vatican, where they're being analyzed by a team of theologians who are looking into his cause for beatification. A young engineer who despite his failing health and challenges is remembered as someone who was always smiling.