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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.”

Emperor Augustus returns to Rome


Nearly 2,000 years after his death, the first Roman emperor returns to Rome. Emperor Augustus led the empire for over 40 years, marking the longest rule in Roman times. 

His empire extended all across Europe. This exhibit marks the bi-millennium of his death by commemorating his life and achievements through unique art pieces.

Co-director, "Augusto”
"What called my attention the most was the chance to bring together so many masterpieces. Many are on display for the first time, or they have left their permanent home for the first time. And we're talking about Italian as well as foreign museums.”

Among the prized masterpieces is this bronze sculpture of Augustus emerging from the Aegean Sea, which is on Italian soil for the very first time. There are also contributions from museums in London, Paris, Vienna and New York. The British Museum lent this rare cameo broach, known as the White Cameo. It's made from polished onyx, a semi-precious stone. Another London import is the head bust of the emperor. Augustus loves his image and was well aware of the power it conveyed.

Co-director, "Augusto”
"This exhibit displays the figurative art of the Augustan time period, by bringing together the main art works that show how Augustus used art for propaganda. It shows how he transformed the republican Rome into an imperial Rome, using the power of images.”
As a result, the emperor's image appeared in coins or cameos, like these two,  brought in from New York and Paris. But without a doubt, one of the most iconic images of Octavian Augustus is this one: the Augustus of Prima Porta. It depicts him rallying his troops before battle. The sculpture leaves the Vatican Museums for the first time ever. That masterpiece is flanked by the Doryphoros, a classical Greek sculpture, on lease from the Naples National Archeological Museum.

But this exhibit, describing the personal life of Augustus, and his victories on the battlefield, would not be complete without his arch-nemesis, Cleopatra

Though his presence in Rome survives 2000 years after his death, this unique exhibit will only be on display until February of next year.