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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.

Third priest found dead in Mexico

September 26, 2016.Mexican priest, Alfredo Lopez Guillen, was found dead this weekend on a rural road about 350 km east of Mexico City, after being allegedly abducted and assaulted in his parish on Monday September 19. This is the third case of violence against priests in Mexico in just one week. On Monday, September 19, Fr. Nabor Jiménez and Fr. José Alfredo Juarez were also kidnapped in the church of Our Lady of Fatima. Hours later they found them lifeless in a ditch in Poza Rica, Veracruz. The Catholic Church wants clarification on the murders, because it is not yet known who could be the alleged perpetrators.

Pope Francis prays before Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre


(VIDEO ONLY) The final event during Pope Francis' second full day in Cuba was a visit to the the patroness of the island. He came with flowers in hand and left them at the feet of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Afterward, he prayed in silence for seven minutes.

Prayer recited by the Pope (Spanish): 

 Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre,
Patrona de Cuba!
¡Dios te salve, María, llena de gracia!
Tú eres la Hija amada del Padre,
la Madre de Cristo, nuestro Dios,
el Templo vivo del Espíritu Santo.

Llevas en tu nombre, Virgen de la Caridad,
la memoria del Dios que es Amor,
el recuerdo del mandamiento nuevo de Jesús,
la evocación del Espíritu Santo:
amor derramado en nuestros corazones,
fuego de caridad enviado en Pentecostés sobre la Iglesia,
don de la plena libertad de los hijos de Dios.

¡Bendita tú entre las mujeres
y bendito el fruto de tu vientre, Jesús!
Has venido a visitar nuestro pueblo
y has querido quedarte con nosotros
como Madre y Señora de Cuba,
a lo largo de su peregrinar
por los caminos de la historia.
Tu nombre y tu imagen están esculpidos
en la mente y en el corazón de todos los cubanos,
dentro y fuera de la Patria,
como signo de esperanza y centro de comunión fraterna.

¡Santa María, Madre de Dios y Madre nuestra!
Ruega por nosotros ante tu Hijo Jesucristo,
intercede por nosotros con tu corazón maternal,
inundado de la caridad del Espíritu.
Acrecienta nuestra fe, aviva la esperanza,
aumenta y fortalece en nosotros el amor.
Ampara nuestras familias,
protege a los jóvenes y a los niños,
consuela a los que sufren.

Sé Madre de los fieles y de los pastores de la Iglesia,
modelo y estrella de la nueva evangelización.
¡Madre de la reconciliación!
Reúne a tu pueblo disperso por el mundo.
Haz de la nación cubana un hogar de hermanos y hermanas
para que este pueblo abra de par en par
su mente, su corazón y su vida a Cristo,
único Salvador y Redentor,
que vive y reina con el Padre y el Espíritu Santo,
por los siglos de los siglos.