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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:
Pope Francis

Pope's schedule during his trip to Sweden

September 27, 2016. Pope Francis will travel to Sweden next October 31 and November 1, for the occasion of the Lutheran–Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation.This will be the 17th trip of his pontificate.

The final hours of Pope John Paul II


This was the last time that Pope John Paul II appeared in St. Peter's Square. It was Wednesday, March 30, 2005.

He was very weak and unable to speak. Two months earlier, doctors performed a tracheotomy on him. That was followed by two serious infections.

Locals knew that his hours were numbered. Many decided to spend the night outdoors in Saint Peter's Square to show support and be near him. The end was imminent. Inside his room, the Pope said goodbye to his closest confidants.

Spokesman, John Paul II 
""It was a silent farewell, there was no need for words. He looked at us in the eyes, everything was already said. It wasn't necessary to try to say anything. The next day, less than 24 hours later, he died.”

On the night of April 2nd, the faithful prayed the rosary under the Pope's window in St. Peter's Square.

When the room's lights were turned on, it became clear that the inevitable had occurred. 

The first official confirmation came a few minutes later.

"May our prayerful silence accompany these first moments of our Holy Father, John Paul II, in Heaven with Christ.”

That's when John Paul II received his first posthumous tribute: an endless applause.

Spokesman, John Paul II 
"The first prayer recited in the room at the time of his death was not the prayer the Church usually does, which is a prayer for the soul's salvation. No, it was a prayer of gratitude. Naturally, not because of his passing but because of his rich life that ended at that historical moment.”

The next morning, his remains were taken to the Apostolic Palace, so that members of the Roman Curia could pay their respects.

A day later, his body was transferred to St. Peter's Basilica. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came to give thanks and say farewell.

Spokesman, John Paul II 
"Less than 24 hours before his death, people began to arrive at St. Peter's Square. It continued to fill up over the following days. At first, Romans came, then from all over Italy. Then people from throughout Europe and around the world came in those days before the funeral and burial of John Paul II.”

The Pope's main collaborator, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, celebrated the funeral Mass in front of dozens of world leaders. Strong winds blowing through St. Peter's Square added to the ceremony's sad mourning.

At the end of Mass, hundreds of people began asking: Would Pope John Paul II be declared a saint soon? Time gave them their answer.