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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.

The Roman keyhole with the viewpoint of three different sovereign states

2016-06-05

Do you know what all these people are lining up for?And why they are taking pictures in front of a door?

The answer is in this small keyhole. Look how unique it is, with the dome of St. Peter's as the center focus behind these gardens.

This is the Villa of the Grand Priory perched on the Roman Aventine Hill and it has belonged to the Order of Malta for over 700 years.

ENRICO FLORIDI
Embassy of the Order of Malta
"It is a continued tourist attraction because there are three sovereign states seen from the hole: the Order of Malta, owner of the Villa; the Italian State, and the dome of St. Peter's with the Vatican as the background. It is quite interesting this does not happen in other countries."

The Italian garden has low hedges made of boxwood, but not only that, also included is the Villa Magistral, headquarters of the Embassy of the Order of Malta to Italy, and the Chapter Room, where the grand masters are chosen from the Order, in a style somewhat reminiscent to the Vatican conclaves.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta was born more than nine centuries ago during the Crusades. It is based in Rome and is recognized as a subject of international law. Today its charitable work is essential and it's currently helping out with the refugee crisis.

MARIANNA BALFOUR
Order of Malta
"Over the past 900 years, the Order of Malta has conducted humanitarian assistance activities. Now it engages in projects of a medical-social nature in 120 countries and has diplomatic relations with 106 countries, including the United Nations and the European Union.”

The lengthy history of the Order can be seen in its church, dedicated to St. Mary of the Aventine. These flags belonged to the knights of the fifteenth century and represent the ancient kingdoms at the time.

The church, as it's seen today, is newer, dating back to the eighteenth century. It was built in the homogeneous and particular style of architect Giambattista Piranesi, who left his greatest work here: the redesign of the entire complex and the square.

ENRICO FLORIDI
Embassy of the Order of Malta
"This church has existed for many centuries, but by the order of Cardinal Rezzonico, the nephew of Pope Clement XIII, Piranesi built the facade from scratch and redid the interior with his particular stucco style.”

It is a style that is reflected in the altar, which was recently restored to clean up the mess that accumulated over the years. It represents the elevation of Saint Basil, one of the protectors of the Order, rising to heaven on a sphere representing the Earth. At his feet lies the crypt which houses the tombs of the last two Grand Masters.

It is a privileged place where one can contemplate the Eternal City and maintain the prestige of an institution that remains alive and active despite the passing of centuries.


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