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Pope sends his condolences for the passing of Carmen Hernández

July 21, 2016. Pope Francis sent a message to Kiko Argüello after the passing of Carmen Hernández. He said he was close in spirit to her family and everyone involved with the Neocatechumenal Way, a itinerary of faith which she started, and also to the people who witnessed and appreciated her apostolic work, one of permanent education in faith. The Pope also thanked Hernández's testimony of faith and prays that "the Divine Goodness” welcomes her into the joy of eternal rest and that those involved in the Neochatecumenal Way keep the flame of her evangelizing spirit alive.
Pope Francis

Vatican condemns terrorist attack in Nice, France that has killed at least 84 people

July 15, 2016. The terrorist used a large truck to plough through a crowd during the Bastille day celebration.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences for the victims of Italian train accident

July 12, 2016. Pope Francis sent a telegram with his condolences for the victims of the train accident that occurred in southern Italy. The Pope says he shares the pain of the families affected by this tragic incident, which resulted in at least 20 deaths and more than 50 wounded. Pope Francis prays for the dead and for the speedy recovery of the injured.
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Pope approves martyrdom of laic that refused to enroll in the SS, and of other future saints

July 8, 2016. The Pope has approved the enactment of several decrees for causes of beatification. (Continue reading)
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Vatileaks 2: Two main defendants condemned. Both journalists and Vallejo's secretary acquitted.

July 7, 2016. Fr. Angel Lucio Vallejo Balda has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for the Vatileaks case. The Vatican Tribunal also condemned his main collaborator, Francesca Chaouqui, to 10 months in prison, with a five-year suspended application of the sentence. The third person involved, Nicola Maio, has been completely cleared of all charges. Citing freedom of press, the court says it does not have jurisdiction over and is unable to prosecute the two journalists who obtained classified information, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi.
Vatican

Vatileaks II: Vallejo Balda and Chaouqui's defense ask for acquittal on all charges

July 5, 2016. The lawyers for the two main defendants, Vallejo Balda and Francesca Chaouqui, have called for an acquittal on all charges after the prosecutors petitioned for the sentencing of both accused. The Spanish priest was accused of conspiracy and disclosing classified documents while Francesca Chaouqui, is considered the main conspirator of the events that eventually unfolded. On Wednesday, the lawyers for the other three defendants Nicola Maio, Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi will present their findings.
World

New archbishop in Dominican Republic

July 4, 2016. The Pope has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) due to his age. The Pope has appointed in his place Bishop Francisco Ozoria Acosta. Pope Francis has also accepted a resignation from the auxiliary bishop of the same archdiocese, Monsignor Amancio Escapa Aparicio, because of his age as well.

How St. Egidio changed Christmas for the homeless in Rome

2014-01-02

For one special day each year, the majestic Basilica of Our Lady in Trastevere becomes a dining hall. It opens its doors to Rome's most vulnerable people to give them an memorable Christmas meal.

"Since 1989, I've come here to St. Egidio, and they really care for me. I am so happy to be with my friends at St. Egidio, because I'm the famous beggar of Piazza Vittorio.”

"This is a beautiful moment for our family, all of us. So we treasure it, and I think we gain more out of it.”

Dozens of volunteers
set up the tables inside the Basilica to welcome their guests from across the Eternal City. The Community of St. Egidio started the tradition 31 years ago with 20 guests. Now, there are hundreds!

"They are our friends. Those we find during the week at the train station sleeping on the street. Those that live abandoned at elderly homes because they don't have any family. Those who are sick. Those who don't have a place to be.”

More than just being marginalized, the people invited to the dinner are the ones the Community helps out year-round, through their programs. Each year, the number keeps growing, but so does the number of volunteers.

ELDERLY VOLUNTEER
"It's a beautiful things. I helped out one  year. My priest had me volunteer. And I haven't missed a luncheon since. You take part just one year and you'll want to come back.”

Several cooks prepare the meal at nearby soup kitchens. Local restaurants in the popular neighborhood also pitch in.

 "It's a place for encounter and solidarity. It's like a big, extended family. Everyone is happy, we share so many things. Each person gets a personalized gift with their very own name.”

After the meal, Babbo Natale, aka Santa Claus, delivers each gift. They range from children's toys, to blankets to keep homeless guests warm at night.

This yearly tradition continues in large part thanks to the Community of St. Egidio, and its many volunteers. And judging by the look of satisfaction and joy on each guest's face, it might hard to tell who is truly doing the giving and receiving.


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