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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.”

Pilgrims from Africa certainly know how to stand out and enjoy themselves in St. Peter's


On Wednesday, the Vatican becomes a festive place as pilgrims from diverse cultures gather in Saint Peter's Square. This group of Indonesians, for example, enlivened the mood with a touch of music and color as they awaited the pope's arrival in his popemobile.

Some daring pilgrims flock to get the pope's attention by offering him mate or even asking him to blow out an eager pilgrims birthday candles.

However, this bustling group pilgrims from the  Central African Republic were able to go above and beyond when it came to getting the peoples attention. 

"It's the pope,” they tell us. "He is the most recognized figure in the Catholic Church.” His infectious enthusiasm has delighted many pilgrims like this young couple the pope greeted the end of the General Audience. 

"I did not understand what they were saying but I joined them. You have to just go for it.”

Another pilgrim, managed to capture the pontiff on his phone as the pope greeted a group of sick attendees inside of the Paul VI Audience Hall.

"He blessed us. It was very special. I am proud and happy to receive his blessing.”

"We were very delighted when we saw him. We wanted to touch him and talk to him about our country but it was not possible.”

This is the first time they visit the Vatican, after leaving their home country that has been plagued by violence. The emotions they have experienced is indescribable and the joy they have transmitted is also unmatched.

These are just some of the stories of the many people that visit Rome every Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.