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Pope Francis

Pope Francis visits Benedict XVI before his upcoming birthday

April 13, 2017. Vatican releases statement that the pope visited Benedict XVI yesterday.
Holy Week

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Pope Francis remembers Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Congo


Pope Francis remembered the countries that are currently suffering, from a city hit by a tragedy in 2012, Carpi, Italy. The earthquakes from five years ago led to thousands of displaced people and more than 20 fatalities.

Pope Francis also mentioned more than 250 people who had died in Colombia because of the mud avalanche.

"I pray for the victims, and I assure my closeness and yours to those who mourn the disappearance of their loved ones."

The pope also called for peace in Venezuela, Paraguay and especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In recent days, this country has seen 40 police officers beheaded and the bodies of two UN officials were found dead.

"I assure my closeness to this nation and I urge everyone to pray for peace, so that the hearts of those who committed such crimes do not remain slaves of hatred and violence."

The pope then gave a special greeting to a group of people present in the square: the sick. Despite the threat of rain, they decided to participate in the Mass.

"I want to thank you, the sick. There are 4,500 sick here. Thanks to you, who with your sufferings you help the Church, you help carry the cross of Christ. Thank you. Many thanks to you."

On Friday, the Vatican announced in a statement that Pope Francis is resuming his monthly visits to patients that he started during the Jubilee of Mercy. This is another example of how the pope keeps the sick present on the Church's agenda.