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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:

Dr. Patch Adams...Taking laughter seriously


This isn't how doctors are usually welcomed into a room. But, then again, Patch Adams isn't your average doctor. 

Physician and Clown
"I can engage people aggressively in such a way with clowning, that I never could dressed normally.” 

For the last 50 years, he's been clowning around with patients, with his funky hair, clunky shoes and pants that can be worn in one....two...three....or four different styles. He shared his techniques with medical students in Rome's Gemelli Hospital, which is the same hospital where St. John Paul II was treated. 

Physician and Clown
"No matter how horrible the suffering, humor is huge in helping.” 

It's not just about a quick laugh though...Years ago, the 69 year old doctor, realized that laughter, love and compassion is actually good for your health.

If his story sounds familiar, it's because his life was made into a film. Robin Williams played him in the1998 film Patch Adams. 

Every time he walks into a hospital, nursing home or orphanage, he knows exactly where he wants to go. 

Physician and Clown
"I say please take me to whom is suffering the most. Maybe humor can have a place in working towards peace and justice in the world.”

He's taken over 6,000 volunteers all over the world, to clown around, from age 3 all the way to 88.

Physician and Clown
"Anyone can be compassionate all day long.”

For two years he called random phone numbers to see how he could engage people in conversations. His longest hug, he says, lasted 12 hours, and one day, he decided he would walk into elevators, this way...

His personality may be extreme, but so is his desire to help. In 1971 he and a group of 20 adults, three of them doctors, moved into a six bedroom house, and made it an makeshift hospital. For 12 years, they treated hundreds of patients a month, for free...The group worked odd jobs, so they could offer free treatment. Patients were offered to live there at no cost. 

Physician and Clown
"More than the love and more than the joy it was the humor that made nobody want to leave.Every day was fascinating.”

When asked if he ever gets exhausted from always lending a helping hand, he says it's just the oppositethe more energy you give, he says, the more you get back.