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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

700-year-old crucifix returns to St. Peter's Basilica

2016-12-11

The oldest crucifix in St. Peter's Basilica, dating back to the early fourteenth century, has just been restored. It is made from the wood of a walnut tree and in order to return it to its original appearance, layers of paint and varnish had to be removed because they tried to pass it off as a bronze sculpture.
 
It weighs almost 160 pounds, is over seven feet tall and shows Jesus during the final moments of His life: poor and serene.
 
CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Peter's

"It is a crucifix that has gone through many sad events. It has looked, we could say, with compassion, over human history and the history of the Church."

The crucifix is one of the few relics from the ancient Vatican Basilica that has lasted until today.
 
It is a work that was completed during the time of Dante, and saints like St. Catherine of Siena prayed before it and the eyes of great artists, like Michelangelo have repaired it.
 
MSGR. VITTORIO LANZANI
Delegate of the Fabric of St. Peter

"St. Catherine in her last days of life kept coming. She said she did not want to leave that church at all during the day or night in order to pray. So it is easy to imagine her before this crucifix."

However, it also witnessed sad events like the Napoleonic occupation, the deportation of Pope Pius VI or the Sack of Rome in 1527. The basilica was converted into a stable, and amidst the bodies of the slain Swiss Guards, the invaders dressed the crucifix as a soldier.
 
CARD. ANGELO COMASTRI
Archpriest of the Basilica of San Pedro

"When I look at the cross, a quote from Chesterton, the Anglican convert, always comes to mind. He said that on the crucifix he allows everyone to mistreat Him, to crucify Him, to bury Him. But everyone has to know that He is in the tomb only three days."
 
The crucifix has been exhibited in St. Peter's for a very special occassion: the jubilee dedicated to the imprisoned. The pope wanted the cross to be present in the final days of the jubilee. Afterwards, it will be placed on the altar in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where thousands of pilgrims will once again pray and gaze at it.
 

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