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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.”
Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 28, 2016. Despite the rumors that Pope Francis will travel to Israel to attend Shimon Peres funeral, the Vatican has issued a statement officially announcing a confirmation for the pope's scheduled visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan will remain as planned on Friday. The pope spoke warmly about the former leader and sent out a telegram of condolences:

Key gestures in the life of John Paul II


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. 


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.”


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. 


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.


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. 

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.