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Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

When your client list includes Pope Francis...


Sculpting religious designs takes a lot of patience and precision. But the pressure is a lot more intense, when you're designing something for the Pope. 

"I get emotional just thinking about it even now. I can only describe it as an incredible feeling.” 

Maurizio Lauri is an Italian sculptor, who designed Pope Francis' new ferula, or pastoral cross. He worked on the design all summer and he says the Resurrection was his inspiration. 

"Christ is still on the cross, but His arms are free. So He is still bound, but He is inviting everyone to follow Him and His example.” 

This is actually not the first time, Lauri has designed something for a Pontiff.  He sculpted a chalice to mark 60 years since Benedict XVI's priestly ordination. He also made designs for John Paul II. 

Pope Francis publicly used his new ferula for the first time on November 1st, as he celebrated All Saints Day. In fact, the materials used to make it, were brought in all the way from Honduras, thanks to the help of Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. 

"So I received the caoba wood in a slab. I had to sculpt and mold so it would fit into the metal frame. The bronze and also the silver also came from Honduras.” 

It was all part of a fair trade sale that promotes the work and goods of marginalized communities. But Lauri says there's a deeper message at heart. 

"Five hundred years after the West evangelized in the Americas, the West is extremely secularized and it's receiving these materials from Latin America. I think it's a powerful lesson and in a way an example for us Catholics.” 

He says the ferula isn't just for the Pope, but for all Christians. He wants the image of Jesus overcoming death, to trigger clear message of hope, even in times of despair.