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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.”

“Mom, I'm going for a ride with the Pope”


They had only planned to make a quick stop by the Vatican during their vacation in Rome...and nothing more. But this family got more than they bargained for when Pope Francis invited their children to ride on the Popemobile with him.

"Well, we were at a corner near the Pope. We looked directly at him and we yelled, 'Father Jorge.' And he was looking one way but turned around. When he gave a kiss to our youngest sister, he looked at us two, and he gave us his hand and said, 'Come on up.'”

And that's how these children from Spain ended up on the ride of their lives. It was completely unexpected for them, though it's not surprising Pope Francis would do it. He always leaves people smiling after the general audience.

"They were so excited for the rest of the day. We were so excited. I was crying like a crazy person. I couldn't control my emotion. While they were getting off, the Pope looked as they were leaving, he kept watching us. We couldn't speak. Javier and I were saying all day: thank you, thank you. We didn't say anything other than thank you.”

The two kids remember their ten minutes on the Popemobile very well.

"Very comfortable. There are seats with cushions there.”

"We thought that he was only going to give us a kiss but then he told us to sit down.”

"And how did you feel?”

"I don't know, it was very moving.  The whole world was looking.”

Javier and Pilar have four children but weren't able to bring all of them. They had to leave their youngest in Spain, but they're already planning a return trip so that they can introduce the Pope to their other child. For now, they go back to home with a story they'll never forget.