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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Discovery of new frescoes from the 3rd century catacombs of Saint Callixtus

2015-07-26

Although it's hard to believe, the catacombs still hide treasures that date back almost 20 centuries from the time they were first used. The catacombs of Saint Callixtus in Rome are a perfect example. 

About 50 feet underground, and close to the famous Papal crypts, archaeologists found this: It's Orpheus a character from pagan mythology that was incorporated into Christian iconography.

FABRIZIO BISCONTI 
Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
"In the center is Orpheus, the mythical Thracian singer who tamed animals with the sound of his lyre. Naturally, for Christians, it symbolized Christ, the Logos, who tamed even the most ferocious animals.” 

December 8th,  marks the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy. The Vatican is hoping to promote the catacombs as a main point of attraction for pilgrims who will make their way to Rome from around the world. 

CARD. GIANFRANCO RAVASI
President, Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
"This restoration commemorates, in a sense, an important event for the Church: the Jubilee of Mercy, the Holy Year.”

Along with the new frescoes, the catacombs promise even more. Certain artworks have been found affirming that pilgrims from the Middle Ages visited the catacombs to honor the lives of  martyrs.

In the last 20 years digging has continued in the vicinity, which paved the way towards a new museum with these artworks, inscriptions and reliefs.

MATTEO BRACONI
Museo della Torreta
"We have opened a new museum that contains a story made of marble. It is the story of sarcophagus fragments from the catacombs of Saint Callixtus as well as from the surrounding area.”

Stretching across more than 150,000 square meters and about 12 miles deep, it served as a cemetery for hundreds of thousands of Christians since the 2nd century AD. Its historical relevance is priceless since it preserves the living memory of the ancient presence of Christians in the Eternal City.



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