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Pope Francis

Holy See adopts UN Convention against Corruption

September 23, 2016. Pope Francis has asked the Vatican to be exemplary in the fight against corruption and meet the set international standards in this regard. Therefore, the Secretary of State has announced that the Holy See will conform to the Merida Convention against Corruption. This requires countries to implement anti-corruption measures concerning its laws, institutions and practices. From now on, the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State will review its administrative procedures to align them to the standards set by the Convention. Through this compliance, the Vatican says it hopes to contribute to increased transparency and proper management of public affairs in the international community.
Pope Francis

Cardinal Parolin to preside at liturgy before peace signing between Colombia and FARC

September 20, 2016. Colombia's government has invited the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, to preside over a liturgy before the ceremony to unite representatives from the Colombian government and the FARC, in Cartagena de Indias. The liturgy will take place before the ceremony related to agreements of Havana between the Colombian government and the FARC. It will be next Monday, September 26, and dozens of heads of state are scheduled to attend. In the liturgy, Parolin will "ask God to enlighten each Colombian to work conscientiously and with complete freedom, so that in a responsible and informed way, they can participate in making decisions that concern the common good of the entire country, which is so dear to Pope Francis."
Pope Francis

Pope Francis pays tribute to Father Jacques Hamel

September 13, 2016. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for Jacques Hamel, the priest murdered in France by two terrorists on July 26 in the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. It will be held on Wednesday, September 14 at 7 a.m inside the chapel of his residence in Casa Santa Marta. The bishop from Diocese of Rouen along with 80 pilgrims from the same diocese will be present.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' calendar from September to November

SEPTEMBER Sunday 25, 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Catechists. Friday 30 to Sunday 2 October: Apostolic trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. OCTOBER Saturday 8: At 5.30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Marian vigil. Sunday 9, 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and Marian Jubilee. Sunday 16: 29th Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10.15 in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass and canonisation of Blesseds Salomone Leclercq, José Sanchez del Rio, Manuel González García, Lodovico Pavoni, Alfonso Maria Fusco, José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, and Elisabeth of the Holy Trinity. Monday 31 to Tuesday 1 November: Apostolic trip to Sweden to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. NOVEMBER Friday 4: At 11.30 in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the year. Sunday 6, 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of Prisoners. Sunday 13, 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Holy Mass and Jubilee of the Homeless. Sunday 20, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square, Holy Mass for the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Pope Francis

Pope announces next World Day of Peace: “Non-Violence: A Style of Politics for Peace”

August 26, 2016. This is the theme Pope Francis has chosen for the next World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2017. Pope Francis has talked about the worrisome surge of violence that has taken over the world. On his trip to Poland in July he said the world is in a "piecemeal World War." That is why he wishes that this 50th World Day of Peace, the fourth of his pontificate, be a beacon of diplomacy and good will. The Pope wants to underline the prevalence of law in international affairs as a way to ensure a peaceful future. The World Day of Peace is a project started by Paul VI in 1968. It is celebrated the first day of every year, and it is usually an occasion where the pope makes important statements about the Social Doctrine of the Church.

Syrian priest kidnapped by ISIS: The rosary kept me going for my 84 days as prisoner

2015-12-19

What happened to this man is unusual. And that he is alive and free is almost a miracle. The Syrian priest Jacques Mourad visited Rome to share his story of being kidnapped by the Islamic State.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"September 1st was our quote, 'Liberation.' That day, the head of the Islamic State sent five or six people from Iraq to get Christians from  Qaryatyn to sign an agreement with the Islamic State.”

The condition was that they never left their city, Qaryatayn. Together with the priest, 25 other Christians were released. However, they had to escape the area anyway, as it was terrorized by violence from the Islamic State, and constant bombing. Father Mourad explained that the city simply didn't have food. He strongly denounced the world's indifference toward refugees.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"Europe, the West, does not see its responsibility to the hordes people fleeing war, bombings, and massacres. They are thrown into the sea and die there because they are fleeing death and war in Syria. This cannot be. It is illegal. How can these countries accept that people die in this way without doing anything?”

Mourad was taken from his monastery on May 21st by members of the Islamic State. They transferred him to Raqqa, the capital of the caliphate. He said that two things kept him going.

FR. JACQUES MOURAD
Syrian-Catholic Priest
"There are two things that helped me during my captivity. First, praying the rosary. Mary, Our Lady, was always present and she helped keep me going from the first moment. Every time I prayed the rosary, I felt an extraordinary peace in my heart. I cannot explain it. FLASH The second thing that helped me was the prayer of  Charles de Foucauld, who was a victim of violence but decided to devote his life in a monastery to dialogue with Islam.”

Thanks to that strength, he was able to resist a constant threat he received during his 84 days of captivity: Convert to Islam or be decapitated.

Despite all this, he said that he continued to believe that all people are children of God and that God does no wrong. With that same hope, he said he believes peace will someday come to Syria.


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