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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.”
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:

A WYD volunteer who will now help from heaven


A young permanent Polish volunteer for the upcoming WYD lost his battle to cancer on July 2nd, and will now be cheering on his fellow volunteers and pilgrims from Above. 

He joined the WYD graphic design team in December of 2014 and found out the news of his cancer 10 months later, in September 2015.

On the 100 day anniversary of learning about his illness, he made a video, thanking his family, friends and doctors for their love, support and prayers.

WYD Volunteer 
"I would like to thank each and every one of you. Especially my colleagues from Organizing Committee of World Youth Day. Thank you for every prayer and every mass, for every request directed to God so that He intervenes and fixes what went wrong. Thank you for every visit, call, message, for every warm thought.”  

The WYD team was intensely praying for and supporting him throughout his treatment, including his decision to amputate his leg in June. The Polish volunteer fought with all his strength to combat the illness, but nothing seemed to work.

WYD Volunteer 
"The only thing I can promise is that I'll do everything I can to win this battle. I will do everything to destroy this cancer. I really want to live and I'll survive, Scout's promise.” 

While he wasn't able to live out his promise, he touched the lives of so many around him. In the final months, he mentioned how quickly one's life and priorities are changed when only given a little bit of time to live.  

WYD Volunteer 
"I wish all of you, that you enjoy your life. Every day is beautiful! Unfortunately, we often forget that by chasing irrelevant things.” 

It was this positivity and simplicity that left an impression on those around him and will continue to impact all the WYD volunteers as they prepare for the encounter with an angel looking down on them from heaven.