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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.
World

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

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.

January 2015: an unforgettable trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines

2015-12-26

The Pope started off the year by baptizing 33 children in the Sistine Chapel.

The babies behaved very well during the ceremony, but not all of them could hold back their tears. 

They were the children of Vatican employees, the only people who have the privilege of having the Pope baptize their children. 

A few days later, the Pope traveled to Sri Lanka. This is how he was welcomed at the airport. In fact, even elephants were there as part of the show. 

In 2009, the country emerged from 25 years of civil war. The wounds are still open from the conflict that led to the death of 100,000, leaving close to one million as refugees. 

The Pope's central message was one of reconciliation and of the importance of religion as a factor in peace. 

POPE FRANCIS
"It is no easy task to overcome the bitter legacy of injustices, hostility and mistrust left by the conflict. It can only be done by overcoming evil with good.”

In Colombo, before half a million people, the Pope canonized the country's first saint: Father José Vaz, who preached in hiding during the 18th century. 

Pope Francis stressed that the new saint worked for peace in a way that transcended religious divisions. This is a particularly important issue where Christians are just 7 percent of the country's 20 million inhabitants. 

The Pope visited the shrine in Madhu, the majority Tamil region of the island, where people of every religion found shelter during the civil war. He asked them to overcome their religious differences to restore a sense of community. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Yet only when we come to understand, in the light of the Cross, the evil we are capable of, and have even been a part of, can we experience true remorse and true repentance.”

From Sri Lanka, the Pope flew to the Philippines, which has the third largest Catholic population in the world. At the airport in Manila, he was treated with this extraordinary welcome.

In this country there are more than 200,000 children who were abandoned by their parents. The Pope deviated from his official itinerary to meet them and made a surprise visit to a foster home for homeless children.

He also visited Leyte, the island most affected by hurricane Yolanda in 2014. He went to Tacloban, a city that was completely destroyed. 
 
When he arrived he encountered a category 2 typhoon, but he didn't leave. He wanted to honor the memory of everyone who had died and of those who lost their families. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Many of you have asked the Lord, looking at Him: Why, Lord? And the Lord answers to each one of you, to your heart, Christ responds with his heart. It's the only thing I can tell you. Let us look to Christ, He is the lord and He understands us because He underwent all the trials that we go through.”

In the end, the storm forced him to leave the island long before he had intended. 

POPE FRANCIS
"I have to go now. Our flight to Manila was scheduled at five, but there's a category 2 typhoon around, and the pilots told us we must leave at one.”

During his last event in the country he made history. It was this Mass attended by about six million people, the most crowded papal ceremony in living memory.

During the return flight, a journalist asked a question about his views on contraception. Pope Francis said contraception isn't the answer, but rather 'responsible parenthood.' He explained it with very direct words. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Some think that, excuse my expression, that in order to be good Catholics they have to be like rabbits. No! Responsible parenthood!” 

Responsible parenthood means that each Catholic should decide in good conscience the number of children they can have. This concept excludes the use of contraceptives. Instead it means that couples should resort to natural family planning methods if necessary.

One of the passengers, a Mexican journalist named Valentina Alazraki, had her birthday that day. The Pope surprised her with a cake and asked her to blow out the candle in front of everyone.

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