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Pope Francis

Pope will not be able to travel to Israel on Friday to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

September 29, 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.
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.

Artist behind the canonization image of Mother Teresa shares little-known facts about her portrait


Chas Fagan is the American artist responsible for the now-famous tapestry of St. Mother Teresa of  Calcutta. The same one that hung on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica when Pope Francis named her a saint in the eyes of the thousands of pilgrims in attendance that day and the rest of the world that watched the ceremony on television. 

"The one that I just stopped completely at was a moment that was a candid photography in the newspapers with her and Pope John Paul II, where she is looking up to him, into his eyes, obviously. She was radiating. So, there I figured I had my little view of what Mother Teresa must have looked like to everyone else who met her.”

Despite the immense popularity the 22-by-28-inch oil-on-linen painting has amassed, it is not the first time Chas has been in the spotlight, especially when it comes to bringing religious figures to life. 
Fagan is also an accomplished sculptor. A sculpture competition in Washington D.C. facilitated him with a lifetime opportunity that would one day lead to his life-like painting of Saint Mother Teresa.   

"It's a slightly larger than life size statue of Pope John Paul II, which means that when you get up close and you can look up into his eyes. His hands are open and wide, so you see people either hugging him, literally, or just simply holding his hand.”

The powerful image of Mother Teresa was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus as a gift to the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa in 1950. 

"With Mother Teresa, I was struggling a bit to figure out which direction to take the painting and Carl Anderson, from the Knights of Columbus, was in my studio and shared with me a quotation of Mother Teresa's that he liked and it hit home for me. So, it was the "hook” that I needed.”

With only eight weeks to complete the iconic Mother Teresa painting, he describes the tedious process involved in finding the right image that would fully capture the image of Mother Teresa. 

"It's a very simple quote, 'joy is strength' and I loved it and the more I live with it the more I love it and I think that is what drove the expression you see in her face.”

Aside from working on religious figures like Saint Mother Teresa and Saint John Paul II, Chas has painted the portraits of all the U.S. Presidents and  other notable historical figures. He has a collection that regularly tours the United States for the White House Historical Association.