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Pope Francis

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI before his upcoming birthday

April 13, 2017. Vatican releases statement that the pope visited Benedict XVI yesterday.
Holy Week

Colosseum's Way of the Cross meditations written by female biblical scholar

March 31, 2017. Anne-MariePelletier'smeditations will be read during the event on Good Friday.

December 2014: Interfaith commitment to fight against human trafficking

2014-12-31

The month of December started off with a call to action. Religious leaders of different faiths went to the Vatican to sign an agreement against human trafficking. 

POPE FRANCIS
"We hereby declare on behalf of each and every one of our faiths, that modern slavery, be it human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution or the sale of organs, is a crime against humanity. The victims are from all walks of life, but usually it affects the poorest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.” 

REV. JUSTIN WELBY
Archbishop of Canterbury
"At a time when faiths are seen wrongly as a cause of conflict it is a sign of real hope that today global faith leaders have together committed themselves publicly to the battle to end modern slavery.” 

With their signature, they all agreed to work together against forced labor, prostitution and the illegal sale of organs. Issues that now affect more than 36 million people. 

On December 12th, the Pope celebrated a Mass to honor the Patroness of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Among those in attendance where ambassadors and Latin American leaders. 

It was a so called Creole Mass which combines Christian prayers with Argentinian beats and folk music. 

At a time when many Latin American countries face instability, the Pope called on Christians to make the continent one of hope. He also called on them to have faith in Our Lady and to live out the Gospel. 

POPE FRANCIS
"We only have to turn our hearts to Our Lady. That way we'll listen to the voice of a tender and caring Mother who asks us: 'Why are you afraid? Am I not by your side?

At the end of the Mass the Pope placed a golden rose at the feet of Our Lady. It's a flower that's traveled throughout parishes in the Americas. From Alaska, all the way to Chile. 

And just as Pope Francis got a surprise for his 78th  birthday at St. Peter's Square, the world was surprised by historical news. The US and Cuba re-established diplomatic relations.

Both Barack Obama and Raul Castro highlighted the key of role Pope Francis played in the reconciliation of the two countries.

Of course, part of the Season's cheer is having a Christmas tree. This year, the tree came from Calabria in Southern Italy. 

It stands about 85 feet tall and it weighs eight tons. 

It took weeks to set up all the lighting, but the end result was well worth it. 

Of course, just a few feet away, there's this year's Nativity Scene, which came all the way from the city of Verona. 

Two symbols that mark a birth that happened more than 2000 years ago, in Bethlehem...and that changed the world. 


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