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New Custodian of the Holy Land

May 20, 2016. Friar Francesco Patton is the new Custodian of the Holy Land. He succeeds Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who was in office for the last 12 years. Friar Francesco Patton is 52 years old from Vigo Meano (Italy). He graduated in Communication Sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome and until now was the provincial minister of the Order of Friars Minor in Saint Vigilius of Trent.

Pope to Parents: It's important for children make their First Communion

2014-02-05

This was the scene today at the Vatican. A mosaic of umbrellas covered St. Peter's Square, as the rain hit down hard. Nonetheless, about 25,000 pilgrims attended the Pope's general audience

He even joked about the weather. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Dear brothers and sisters, good morning, but I guess it's not really a pretty day right...It's a bit rough.” 

The Pope continued his catechesis on the Sacraments. He has talked about Baptism, Confession and Confirmation, but today he talked about the Eucharist and why it's essential to go to Mass. 

POPE FRANCIS
"The Eucharist is such a great gift. That's why going to Mass is so important. Going to Mass not just to pray, but to receive Communion, the Bread and Body of Christ. It saves us, forgives us and it makes us one with the Father. How beautiful!”

He then explained that the word 'Eucharist' stems from Greek, and it means thankfulness. The greatest gestures of all, he explained, is the Last Supper, where God's love and mercy come together. He then added that celebrating the Eucharist is not just about honoring the past. 

POPE FRANCIS
"The Eucharist is more than just a mere feast. It's a way to remember Jesus' Passover, a mystery that's central to our salvation. But when we talk about 'remembering' that doesn't mean that it's just a memory. It means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we become part of the Mystery of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. The Eucharist is the peak of God's Salvation.” 

It's through the Eucharist he explained, that it's possible to be in true communion with the Church. That's why it's key for children to make their First Communion. 

POPE FRANCIS
"It's important for children to properly prepare for their First Communion, so that there's no child without this Sacrament. The Eucharist is a firm firm step towards Jesus, along with Baptism and Confirmation.” 

Despite the bad weather, the Pope took his time as he made his way across the Square. Just in case, he opted for closed popemobile that was first used by Benedict XVI. 


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