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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.

Ancient icons on display at Vatican Museum, mixing Orthodox and Catholic styles

2016-07-24

According to St. John of Damascus, "the whole Earth is a living icon of the face of God.” As such, this particularly powerful presence of icons has come to the Vatican museums with 33 individual works of art. Through the Belarus icon paintings from the 17th-21st centuries, one can find not only the face of God, but also a merging of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. 

ANDREI ZHAROV
Iconographer
"It is very important for us because we tell about Belarus tradition and about our Christian tradition, which is very important for all people. And this tradition unites us.” 

It is a unity that is displayed in Andrei's paintings, two of which are shown at the exhibit with Roman saints, "Saints Cosmas and Damien” and also "The Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God.”  

This Belarusian style began in the 17th century and has absorbed influences from the western and eastern cultures, giving it a uniqueness not found elsewhere. The early paintings portray spirituality though this unified structure and restrained color range, while more recent icons use a more distinctive form and bright colors.  

VLADIMIR I. PROKOPTSOV
Director General of National Art Museum of Belarus 
"There is a difference between the Byzantine and Russian styles. For example, there are faces not as stringent, while you can see that other faces are smiling. We have many landscapes. There are pictures in which landscapes are not usually seen, and yet here they are. There are many everyday items not used by Belarusians and they are present in these icons.”

Biblical stories and characters are featured throughout the exhibition, like this icon of the "Kissing of Joachim and Anne” from the 17th century and this 18th century icon of "Michael the Archangel.” Gold is especially displayed throughout the background and framing, which reflects the historical tradition of metal crafting together with various forms of art.

VLADIMIR I. PROKOPTSOV
Director General of National Art Museum of Belarus
"The initial idea for this exhibit was born nine years ago, but when we prepared this exhibition we had to change everything. We had hundreds of large pieces, some two meters, but you see what's here, such small display windows. There was no room for hundreds of icons and so we had to reduce it. They have exhibited 33 icons. They have brought only those that fit in the display cases. The height of the windows has influenced the choice of pieces.”

The exhibition is on display until July 25, and creators hope the ancient traditions and spiritual context will be evident in the eyes of all who witness this event. 


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