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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.”

The poems of Saint Teresa of Ávila made into songs


Saint Teresa of Ávila turned her poems into melodies to help bring as many people as possible closer to God. She used music that was popular during her time, changed the words, and inserted her own verses. 

Five hundred years later, the mezzo-soprano and researcher Sonnia Rivas has reversed the process. She found that almost forgotten music and has used the poems of Saint Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross and Anne of Saint Bartholomew to turn them into songs. The result is this.

"I laid out the words and what I did was narrow them geographically and by the times which Saint Teresa could have heard them. From there, I used hundreds and hundreds of melodies to find the first tune, which was "'Colloquium of Love.'”

That first song also became the title of the first album, which was released in 2003. The project was a resounding success. It was even nominated for a Grammy for classical music. However, another honor was hard to forget.

"We met the Papal Nuncio in Madrid and he suggested the possibility of me presenting the album to His Holiness, John Paul II. It was quite exciting to meet him and have the chance to sing a capella for him.”

Melodies, texts and instruments from the sixteenth century. Another one of the stars from the recital is the vielle, an instrument from the same family as the guitar, which was popular in Spain at the time.

Vielle player
"It's a delight to play this instrument and accompany the voice. This instrument was created to go with singing mainly. It is one of its most important functions.”

Mystical music, along with walls of stone at a Spanish church in Rome, make the teachings of the saint resonate stronger than ever.