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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:

Bishop of Fátima: The Pope has personally told me he will visit


The shrine of Fátima is one of the most popular sites for pilgrims in the world. Each year it has more than five million visitors. May 13, 2017 will mark 100 years since the apparitions of Our Lady in Cova da Iria. Pope Francis has expressed his intention to attend the centenary.

Bishop of Leiria-Fátima
"Pope Francis has personally told me that he is going to go.”

In 2000, Pope John Paul II authorized the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta, the first children to become beatified without being martyrs. The bishop of Leiria-Fátima said that their canonization process is moving along.

Bishop of Leiria-Fátima
"We ask God and Our Lady that they be canonized in 2017. It would be a great joy for all because the little shepherds, Francisco and Jacinta, are the most beautiful fruits from the message of Fátima.”

The appearances reportedly took place in 1917, between May 13 and October 13. Three shepherd children, Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia said they had seen Our Lady in the Cova da Iria, an area near their village, Fátima.

Francisco died as a child in 1919. Jacinta passed away a year later, at just 10-years-old. Lucia became a nun and lived to be 97. Their causes for beatification are very different.

Bishop of Leiria-Fátima
"They died as children and did not write anything. It was easier. Sister Lucia has written extensively: books and letters to everyone who wrote to her. You have to read all those letters and write the story of her life because she lived until age 97. Now the historical commission is trying to find the miracles.”

The cause of beatification of Sister Lucia began in 2008. Angela de Fátima Coelho is working on the cause. She says that Sister Lucia received more than 70,000 letters during her life. One of them might contain the miracle that raises her to the altars.

Postulator of the cause of canonization for Francisco and Jacinta and Vice-Postulator of the cause of beatification for Lucia
"So many people looked for her and wanted to ask questions. Some were well-meaning, others had bad intentions. The Church, to protect her, limited the number of people who could visit her to just a few.”

It is said that Our Lady revealed three secrets to them during her apparitions. The first was about the end of World War I and the start of World War II. The second dealt with the fall of Communism in Russia and the expansion of atheism. The third, which was revealed in 2000, was about the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II.