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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.

The songs that weave 16 years of World Youth Day's together


World Youth Day, as teenagers have come to know it, was created by Saint John Paul II in 1984 after the Jubilee of Young People in Rome. Since this time, gatherings of youth have united to learn, pray and grow through one common outlet: music. 

Each World Youth Day is characterized by an official anthem, highlighting the overall message of that year's encounter. For the 2016 meeting in Krakow, mercy will be spread to all attending youth through the song, "Blessed are the Merciful.”

The previous World Youth Day hosted three million along the sandy shores of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This was the biggest turnout to date and Pope Francis' first meeting with the youth. The upbeat tempo of "Hope of the Dawn” encouraged all attendees to "go be missionaries.”

In 2011, Spain was the first country, outside of Italy, to host the world meeting for a second time.  Teenagers gathered in Madrid to ask for faith with the anthem, "Firm in the Faith.” It was the third and final meeting hosted by Pope Benedict XVI before his resignation in 2013. 

Three years earlier, Sydney, Australia, hosted the 23rd Catholic Youth Festival. It was the first time Pope Benedict XVI had ever visited "the land down under.” The theme centered around the promise and mission of the Holy Spirit from Acts 1:8 in the Bible, and was solidified with the song, "Receive the Power.”

Cologne, Germany, was the destination for the 2005 youth encounter. The theme was inspired by The Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne, which  houses the relics of the three Magi. Thus, the song focused on the Adoration of the Magi and praising God with the anthem, "Venimus Adorare Eum.” 

The 2002 World Youth Day took place in Toronto, Canada. It was the last time Saint John Paul II was present for a youth day, and he expressed his gratitude to God for the thousands of youth who had come over the years. The theme,"Light of the World,” emphasized the light  Christ brings to the world and the brightness that is reflected from person to person. 

To celebrate the Jubilee Year in 2000, the meeting was held at the heart of the Catholic Church, Rome, Italy. With over two million attendees, it was nicknamed the "Catholic Woodstock,” and over 2000 priests were available for confessions throughout St. Peter's Square. The theme song from this World Youth Day has become one of the most recognizable anthems throughout the world, "Emmanuel.”

This year's Catholic Youth Festival in July is once again coinciding with a Jubilee Year, the Year of Mercy. It will take place in Poland, Saint John Paul II's homeland and where the Divine Mercy image of Jesus was created by Saint Faustina. The song "Blessed are the Merciful” has been translated from Polish to numerous languages and even includes an Alternative Rock and Electro House Version.