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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.

Is that a Nativity set or a cake? Rome exhibits unique Nativity scenes


The star that guided the three Wisemen has already arrived to Rome. It actually stopped at Piazza del Popolo, where an exhibition houses more than 150 Nativity scenes.

Director "100 Presepi”
"The idea came up in the 70's, when the tradition of setting up Nativity scene was being wiped out by that of the Christmas tree. My father, the journalist Mario Menaglia, was quite concerned, because it was an Italian tradition and also because he was very religious. So with 10 artist friends he started to organize the exhibition in the parking lot of Villa Borghese in Rome.”

There are Nativity scenes from 31 different countries and 11 Italian regions. Peruvians celebrate the birth of God with songs, whereas in Croatia a shepherd announces that the Messiah has finally come to world. 

Meanwhile, Our Lady covers the Baby Jesus with a blanket and in Slovenia everyone follows the scene. The three Wisemen arrive from Belgium this time with their gifts for the Baby. And very thoughtfully a donkey from Panama warms the little one. From all over the world, people come to worship the Son of God.

Director "100 Presepi”
"We received 450 petitions to participate, so the selection was really difficult. In the end, the works exhibited share a great quality, and that is what I like, the fact that it has become a wonderful display of handcraft. The theme is always the Nativity, but they are so very well done that they really are works of art.”

The Italian displays have all different sizes, shapes, and materials. Even though this one may seem small, it also celebrates Christmas. And while we can't recognize anything except an old set of keys in this other one, all the personages are present. Here, the Nativity set is built with forks, spoons and knifes. And this other one from Sicily, uses beach-stones. 

Going north, the news go unnoticed in Rome. But, in the middle of the daily rush, Christmas' main characters show their faces. The celebrations are one of sweetest moments of the year, as this Nativity scenes made of candy and biscuits show. In the exhibition there's a Nativity set for all tastes-this year it will impossible not to find the way to Bethlehem.