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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.”

Celebrating 75 years of helping the blind


Among the thousands of people who attend the Pope's weekly general audience, this group recently made it to St. Peter's Square all the way from Spain. For 75 years now, the organization known as ONCE which helps the blind

"I greet all the Spanish speaking pilgrims, in particular all the groups coming from Spain, like the ONCE Foundation. I encourage you to continue with your commendable work.” 

The organization helps people who are partially or completely blind. Everything from teaching them how to read braille and finding a job to  training guide dogs for the blind. In fact back in October it received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for its work. 

"Yes, we've had a very eventful year and among the highlights is this trip, where we came to see Pope Francis. It's all been very exciting. Especially because the 13th of December officially marks our 75th anniversary.”

A few members actually got go directly greet the Pope, who thanked them for their work. They say it's a great way to finish the year and to celebrate their 75th anniversary. 

"He actually got out of his popemobile and greeted us all. We really appreciate it, especially making the effort of walking towards us. It was a way to thank the organization and the people we represent which adds to more than 3 million in Spain. In Europe there are more than 80 million people with a disability.” 

After the general audience, the Pope took a moment to greet an employee of the organization, and as usual the Pope asked for prayers. 

"I think it's very important that he actually asks for our prayers. It's funny that usually it's us who go to him and ask for his prayers. It's really a beautiful experience because he is supposed to have direct contact with God and to be asked to be his prayer intercessor, well we greatly appreciate it.” 

At 75, members of ONCE say they're celebrating much more than an anniversary. Above all else, they're celebrating the excitement and encouragement to carry their mission forward. 

- PR
up: RCA