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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.

New Prior General of the Augustinians: 'We must acknowledge that we are all human'


Since September, Alejandro Moral is serving as the new superior of the Order of St. Augustine. He knew the Order as a young boy, but he decided to join at the age of 17. And although 41 years have passed, he still remembers those days fondly.

Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón
Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine
"I became an Augustine because I knew that religious men devoted themselves to others, they gave themselves to others. That desire to give myself was a very important part of my vocation.”

Like Franciscans and the Dominican Friars, the Order of St. Augustine is one of the biggest mendicant orders in the world. It was founded by Pope Innocence IV in the year 1243 at the request of a group of hermits in Tuscany who wanted to live the way St. Augustine did.

Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón
Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine
"We are 'Ora et studia'. Prayer and study. But we also lead an apostolic life. We work in parishes, in missions, we are missionaries also; we try to carry the Gospel to different places.”

Right now, there are about 3.000 Augustinians in about 40 countries. With their schools and universities, they keep St. Augustine's intellectual spirit alive.

But they also remember the saint as fighter, someone who fought for peace and for the poor. He even sold some of the Church's possessions to give food to those in need.

Fr. Alejandro Moral Antón
Prior General of the Order of St. Augustine
"We have to be very sensitive, because we live in a world filled with injustice, with critical situations and above all, with people that are in need. The Pope is constantly reminding us: we must acknowledge that we are all human. And we need to help each other, and we need solidarity.”

Augustinians try to preach by example. Throughout the years, they've launched many initiatives to stop human trafficking. They've also constructed many hospitals, helped people with AIDS and even created spaces for dialogue in conflict countries.

In fact, few people know that they also have an office at the U.N. where they deal with international issues. They want to remind them about forgotten human aspects like spirituality. 

A new role and a mission that, according to the new Prior General, wouldn't be able to accomplish if they left aside what's at the core of their lives: prayer, community life and spiritual life. 'Ora e Studia', says it all.