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Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.
World

Quake aftermath continues to torment ancient town of Amatrice as the death toll rises

August 25, 2016. Rescue teams continue to work tirelessly with the hope of finding new survivors, but the number of deaths will increase as there are still dozens missing. Italy's civil protection agency has announced that 190 have dead in the affected areas in the province of Rieti are overcome, while 57 were killed in the province of Ascoli. During the night, there have been up to 60 new tremors of between 3 and 4 degrees of magnitude. Rescuers worked overnight in the most affected Arquata del Tronto, Pescada< g> del Tronto, Accumoli< g> and Amatrice. The most dramatic situation exists in Amatrice, the largest municipality affected, and where 2,000 people live, but in the summer months doubles its population with vacationers and many tourists who had come to enjoy the weekend party pasta "amatriciana,” a dish that has its origins here. More than 1,000 people have been displaced by the quake.
World

Grand Ayatollah to Pope Francis: “Thank you for saying Islam is not equal to terrorism”

August 22, 2016. Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi sent a letter to Pope Francis to thank him for his words on the flight back from Poland, a few weeks ago: "It is not right to say that Islam is a terrorist faith.” In his letter, the Shia religious leader has strongly condemned terrorist attacks from fundamentalist Islamic groups. He has also stated that "the vast majority of the Musilm people consider all Takfiri sects to be outside the fold of Islam.” Makarem Shirazi is one of the 64 Grand Ayatollahs in Shia Islam and, as such, one of the highest authorities in matters of Islamic dogma and law.
World

Pope conveys “solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims of wildfire in Portugal

August 16, 2016. The fire has killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed a letter, on behalf of Pope Francis, to the bishop of Funchal, Antonio Carrilho. The letter was read during the celebration of Holy Mass for Our Lady of the Mount, Patroness of Funchal. In the letter, Pope Francis expressed his condolences and sorrow over the loss of life and property in the Portuguese island of Madeira, where wildfires have killed at least five people and caused hundreds to evacuate their homes. Pope Francis conveys "solidarity and spiritual closeness” for the victims and those displaced by the wildfires and prayed for the wounded and asked them to have "courage and consolation in Christian hope” for all involved.
World

Pope sends condolences to North America in wake of Hurricane Earl

August 9, 2016. Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences to the victims in the wake of Hurricane Earl through a message sent by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The hurricane killed at least 45 people in Mexico and 13 in the Dominican Republic and caused an estimated $50 million in damage.
World

Pope sends his condolences following attack that killed 70 people at a hospital in Pakistan

August 9, 2016. The terrorist attack at Quetta Hospital killed dozens of lawyers and left 120 others injured.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis officially establishes the commission to study the diaconate of women

August 2, 2016. Six women and six men will study the diaconate of women "with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Vatican

Federico Lombardi appointed new president of The Ratzinger Foundation

Aug. 1, 2016. Today Fr. Lombardi officially ceases to be director of the Vatican Press Office and becomes the president of The Ratzinger Foundation. Father Federico Lombardi will chair the board of the Vatican foundation established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. Until now it was run by president Monsignor Giuseppe Scotti. The Ratzinger Foundation promotes the study of theology, organizes cultural and scientific congresses and rewards the work of scholars and researchers in different fields.

Key gestures in the life of John Paul II

2014-04-23

It took 26 years and 5 months for John Paul II to forever change the way the world saw a Pope.

The media recorded every moment of this revolution: From his strong personality and dedication to his more personal side. 

-A Smiling Pope
April 1989

The Pope definitely wasn't afraid to smile. When this clown performed a skit, he couldn't help but laugh. It was a known fact that he had a great sense of humor and also that he loved theater and sports. 

-Athletic Pope 

Exercising was much more than just a hobby. He was the youngest Pope of have ever been elected in the 20th century and exercise was quite important to him. From going up to stairs to covering two full steps at a time. At least once he left the Vatican incognito, to go skiing and hiking. It was a place where he could clear his mind and meditate. 

-Sweet

When it comes to moving moments, there's plenty to choose from. He wouldn't shy away from giving hugs, like this one, with a Bolivian mine-worker. 

May 11, 1988 Oruru (Bolivia)

"We miners want you to wear this helmet so you can become a miner, just like us. We believe in God, Holy Father.”

-Tough 

But just as easily, the Pope also showed his strong character, frustration and even anger. 

1983 Nicaragua

Perhaps the most memorable public moment was when Nicaraguan priest, Ernesto Cardinal was scolded by the Pope, as he knelt down and kissed his hand. The priest had become involved with the Sandinista government which tried to limit the role of the Catholic Church in that country. 

-Forgiveness 

One of the moments that marked his pontificate was when he met and forgave the man who tried to kill him back on May 13th, 1981. 

Not only did the Pope forgive Ali Agca, he also met with his mother in 1996, when she asked him to support her son's amnesty request.  

-Asking for Forgiveness 

He started the New Millennium with a one of a kind ceremony. In the year 2000, he led Mass at St Peter's Basilica, where he asked God to forgive the Church for all the sins it had carried out in history. From the Inquisition or the persecution of Jews. 

During his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he left a prayer petition in the Wailing Wall, where he also asked for forgiveness. The document is now part of the Holocaust Museum.

-Embrace 

John Paul II showed compassion and understanding. He was Pontiff for almost 27 years. With more than 200 trips throughout the world, he hugged thousands of people along the way. 

One of those unforgettable moments was when he blessed a former prostitute with AIDS in the 2000 Jubilee.

-Old Friends 

Just like any other person, John Paul II had friends. One of them was a woman he used to share the spot light with in plays. Over the years, they remained friends, even when Karol Wojtyla was ordained priest and eventually became Pope.

-A Living Testimony

As he got older, it was harder for him to walk and even talk...Still, he kept that deep connection with the youth. During his last trip to Spain in 2003, he had a touching conversation with the young crowd. 

JOHN PAUL II
May 3, 2003. Madrid (Spain)
"So...How old is the Pope? Almost... A young 83 year-old!

-Last Message 

Eventually, age and illness took over the energetic and strong John Paul II... Still, he continued to travel the world, never hiding his limits from the eyes of the world.

His strongest message was perhaps his life: A silent cry that moved forward, and echoed in the hearts of thousands of people.


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