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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 best photographs of the unforgettable Pope John Paul II


It's part of history. Cardinal Wojtya's car broke down as he made his way to Rome for the Conclave. He was the last to arrive. By the time the Polish cardinal reached the Vatican, virtually all of the photographers were gone. But not Maurizio Riccardi. He stayed and captured the last image of him as a cardinal. He was elected Pope John Paul II shortly after the shot was taken.

This photo, and countless others over thirty years, make up the photographer's massive collection. He closely followed Pope John Paul II, even before he was elected to the papacy.

"I met him before, because he was the cardinal of my parish. Then I began to follow him. There are many photos, from the 'Habemus Papam' to the  'The Pope Who Flies' to the final photos. There are many special ones, but my favorite of John Paul II is 'The Pope Who Flies.'”

"The Pope Who Flies" is this shot. It was taken during a general audience on Christmas, back in 1978. The Pope greeted the pilgrims with open arms as he moved, and Riccardi captured this unique image.

After a lifetime of memories shared with a giant of the faith, it is impossible to remember every significant picture. But with an exhibit open for a few days in Rome, Riccardi wants to pay tribute to the unforgettable Pope on the 10th anniversary of his death. 

The photos focus on the Pope's most recognizable gestures: his direct gaze, how he pointed his finger when he wanted to emphasize an idea, his smile or the tenderness he shared with pilgrims.

There is also an image that had a particularly strong impact on Pope John Paull II: It shows him with his predecessor, Pope John Paul I. 

"He was delighted with "The Pope Who Flies” picture and, above all, the one with two Popes. He liked it very much. He thought it was almost like a sign. I was excited.”

Riccardi has countless photos of the Polish pontiff in his files. They all portray a figure who passed every barrier and left a mark in history that won't be forgotten.