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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 in Santa Marta: Even today Christians are murdered in the name of God


During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis spoke about persecuted Christians. He specifically mentioned the Coptic Christians who were executed by the Islamic State on a Libyan beach simply because they were baptized. 

"Thanks to the strength given them by the Holy Spirit they were not scandalized. They died with the name of Jesus on their lips. This is the strength of the Spirit. The testimony. Martyrdom is the supreme testimony.”

Pope Francis explained that martyrdom is a heightened dimension of the Christian life. He further regretted that those who kill Christians do so thinking that it pleases their God.

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"Today we are seeing those who kill Christians in the name of God because they think they are not believers. This is Christ’s Cross: ‘They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me’. This happened to me – Jesus says – it will happen to you too – the persecutions, the tribulations – but do not be scandalized: the Holy Spirit will guide us and help us understand”.

"I was remembering the faithful of his Church who were slain on the beach because they were Christians. Thanks to the strength given them by the Holy Spirit they were not scandalized. They died with the name of Jesus on their lips. This is the strength of the Spirit. The testimony. Martyrdom is the supreme testimony”.

"A Christian who does not take the dimension of martyrdom seriously in life does not understand the road that Jesus has indicated: a road that invites us to bear witness every day, defending the rights of others; defending our children; mothers and fathers who defend their family; so many sick people who bear witness and suffer for the love of Jesus. All of us have the possibility of bringing forward this life-giving Easter message, bearing witness, without being scandalized”.

"Let us ask the Lord for the grace to receive the Holy Spirit who will remind us of Jesus’ words, who will guide us in truth throughout our lives and prepare us to bear witness in our lives, with small every day martyrdoms, or with a great martyrdom, according to God’s will”.