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Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.

Auschwitz survivors meet Pope and explain their memories


Ten Auschwitz survivors met Pope Francis in the same Nazi concentration camp they have etched into their memory from so many years ago. Two of them sat down to share a bit more of their stories; stories in which they say the atrocity is unable to be understood unless a person lived it. 

Auschwitz survivor 
"So to have the whole vision, one needs to have experienced it... But there was a lot of horrible things going on, there are no doubts. There are stories that prove it.”

Alojzy Fros, who is 99 years old, was forced into the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943 as a prisoner and remained there until the end of the war. On the other hand, Ewa Umlauf's story is much different.

Auschwitz survivor 
"I survived Auschwitz when I was two years old. I was born December, 1942, at the workcamp Nowaki in Slovakia, then was transported to a different camp, Auschwitz.” 

In addition to emotional wounds and memories, the unsanitary conditions at the Nazi concentration camp led to physical illnesses that stayed with them throughout their life.

Auschwitz survivor 
"I will remember it for whole my life, It was in block 21 and after reception they lead me to the room on the first floor, and the door to the bathrooms were open, and passing by I saw human bodies placed like the wood in the forest: one layer here, another over there, something like 1,5 meters high. This was so strong an experience, I have it so fresh in my mind that when I close my eyes I see this terrible picture.”

These images and the resulting fears stuck with them far into adulthood. Despite this, they never lost their fight or desire to live. 

Auschwitz survivor 
"I want to convey to the youth that it is worth the fight, in order to live. Learning from the past gives us power, because the past never ends. When you don’t consider the past, you have no future.”

Pope Francis also concluded his meeting by sending a message not only on behalf of youth, but on behalf of all humanity: "Lord, have mercy on your people, sorry for such cruelty."

CTV/WYD 2016