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Two New Saints
September 17, 2014. Pope Francis will be canonizing two new saints in the coming months: Blessed Joseph Vaz (India, 1651-Sri Lanka 1711) and Blessed Maria Cristina de la Inmaculada Concepcion (Italia 1856-1906). In addition he also approved miracles attributed to both these saints, including one attributed to the intercession of Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, founder Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Canada 1840-1881). 

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Match for Peace raises €2,500,000
September 10, 2014. The Interreligious Match for  Peace raised €2,500,000. 

The match was organized by Scholas, an educational organization promoted by the Pope. Their goal was to raise funds to continue their initiatives. 

Several current soccer stars, such as Buffon, Mascherano and Del Piero participated, as well as soccer legends Maradona, Zamorano and Zanetti. 
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Pope appoints Secretary for Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors
September 10, 2014. The Pope has assigned Msgr. Robert Oliver, from the Archdiocese of Boston, as the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Before that, Oliver served as a prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 
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Burundi police arrest man for murder of three Italian nuns
September 9, 2014. One of the two suspects police detained after the murder of three Italian nuns in Burundi reportedly confessed to the crime

The nuns' religious order announced that the sisters' funeral will take place next September 11 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Pope Francis meets with Maradona
September 4, 2014. Pope Francis met with soccer legend, Diego Armando Maradona, just days after the inter-religious soccer match for peace, took place in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
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Pope to marry 20 couples at the Vatican on September 14th
August 29th, 2014. The Pope will marry 20 couples on September 14th in St. Peter's Basilica. The ceremony will take place at 9am. The couples are from the diocese of Rome. The celebration will take place 3 weeks before the Synod on the Family.
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Pope Names New Archbishop of Madrid
August 28, 2014. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid (Spain). The Pope has named Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Valencia as Cardinal Rouco´s successor. Also, Cardenal Antonio Cañizares has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Valencia, Spain. He will replace Arch. Carlos Osoro Sierra.
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Pope Francis names new bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.)
August 26, 2014. Pope Francis named Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as bishop of Toledo (U.S.A.) Until now, Bishop Thomas served as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and titutlar bishop of Bardstown. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Bishop Giuseppe Merisi as bishop of Lodi (Italy) and named Bishop Maurizio Malvestiti as his replacement. 
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Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in the Vatican with former students
August 25, 2015. Benedict XVI's former students had the chance of meeting him one more time. He celebrated Mass at the Vatican with them to close their annual gatherings in Castelgandolfo, more known as Schuelerkreis. Still, the Pope emeritus didn't attend their meetings.
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Vatican announces theme of the next World Day of Peace
August 21, 2014. "Slaves no more, but brothers and sister”. This will be the theme of the 48th World Day of Peace which will be celebrated on January 1st, 2015. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace made the announcement this morning in a press release. The communique also detailed several contemporary forms of slavery
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Argentine President express condolences to Pope Francis
August 20, 2014. Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called Pope Francis this afternoon. The president offered her condolences on the death of his nephew's wife, Valeria Carmona, and their two small children, Jose and Antonio. The Pope's nephew, Emanuel Bergoglio, remains in critical condition
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Pope's Relatives Die in Crash
August 19, 2014. Three relatives of Pope Francis have died in a traffic accident in Argentina.  According to police, the victims include two great nephews of the Pope  (8 month-old and two year old) and the children's mother. The Pope's 35 year old nephew Horacio Bergoglio, survived and is in serious condition.
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Pope's Twitter account now has over 15 million followers on Twitter

 

August 19, 2014. ThePope's Twitter account has surpassed 15 million followers in the 9 languages where he publishes his tweets. The most popular accounts are Spanish, with almost 6.5 million followers; English, with more than 4 million followers and Italian, with almost 2 million followers.


 

Organist of the Pope: privileged witness to unique moments

2014-01-31

Even magnificent basilicas like St. Mary Major in Rome would feel empty without this music. For almost 30 years Juan Paradell-Solé has played the organ in all the ceremonies inside this church, in a privileged spot close to the mosaics of the apse.

But the Vatican also needs music, and since 2011 this Spanish organist plays in all the ceremonies that the Pope presides. It's the first time in history that the Sistine Chapel Choir, the Pope's private choir, has an official organist.

He soon grasped that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI took very seriously the music in his ceremonies.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"He would chose or suggest the music he would like to be played or sung. And obviously, if he said he wanted that piece or some other one, we would play it. He increased the use of Gregorian chant and the use of multiple melodies in music.”

His post also gives him the chance of witnessing historical moments. If he had to choose one, it would be when Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"I was there, I was playing the organ in the ceremony where Benedict XVI resigned, precisely. In that moment no one could believe it. No one could believe his words, what he was saying: did he really say that? He resigned? Is that possible?"

And then Pope Francis arrived. Juan Paradell also played in the conclave that choose Jorge Mario Bergoglio as successor of Peter.

JUAN PARADELL-SOLÉ
Organist, Sistine Chapel Choir
"Even though it doesn't seem like it, Pope Francis loves music. And he also knows it very well, more than anyone could think. He knows Mozart, he likes Beethoven and is a great supporter of opera.”

After the historic resignation of a Pope and a conclave, the maestro Paradell is ready for whatever may come next. Not by chance, his hands have provided music to some of the most important moment in the recent history of the Catholic Church.


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