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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.

1001 ways to celebrate Christmas around the world

2012-12-23

MSGR. THOMAS FRAUENLOB
Teutonic College (Vatican City)
"Christkind, Baby Jesus, is represented as a small child, with golden hair and white garments which symbolize him being free of sin. The white garments that this child, which bring the gifts, wears is very important. It's these images, these drawings of a snow-filled Christmas, with these Christkind that brings light in such a dark time of the year.”

One of the busiest figures during these festivities is Santa Claus, who lives in Lapland, in northern Finland.

AINO HUXLEY
Ambassador to the Holy See (Finland)
"So Santa Claus is a very, very very old man who lives up in the North of Finland in the region of the Polar Circle, in Lapland. He is a magical figure who gives to kids and adults dream Christmas. Father Christmas is a very hug-able figure, is very, very big and he has this fluffy red cloth and with always a belt because  his stomach is so big so it is hard keeping on his pant.”

In Guatemala, Christmas begins December 7 with the "Burning of the Devil.” This tradition involved burning the oldest items in the house. The celebration of the Immaculate Conception also takes place around this time.

ALFONSO MATA
Ambassador to the Holy See (Guatemala)
"It commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter for their journey to Jerusalem. From one house to another, comes the figures representing Mary and Joseph. Their processions for families and friend, who go from house to house seeking shelter. Commemorating this, they are denied until they are finally welcomed, they come in, and there we drink punch, eat tamales and drink rum with coffee.”

As in every year, the Christmas spirit takes over thousands of people's lives, as they celebrate in various ways the arrival of Baby Jesus. But each one celebrates in their own way, according to where they are from.


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