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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.


 

First Year as Pope: Top 10 list to understand Pope Francis' pontificate

2014-03-11

It's been a year now since Pope Francis was elected. In these past 12 months, no one has been left indifferent. From the unusual circumstances under which he was elected, to the so called 'Francis' effect that's made its way across the globe. 

1- HELP 

As he introduced himself to the world, the first thing Pope Francis did, up from the balcony of St. Peter's, was bow his head and ask for prayers. The thousands of people gathered out in the Square, began to pray for his pontificate

POPE FRANCIS 
"I would like to bless you...but before I'd like to ask all of you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses his flock, I ask that you pray to the Lord, so that He blesses me. The prayer of the people, asking for the Bishop's blessing.” 

It was surprising at first, but soon it became a hallmark of his pontificate. 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Pray for me.” 

"Don't forget, pray for me.” 

2- AUSTERITY 

His personal style also caught the world's attention. From his dress style to his car. 

He kept using the same black shoes he used before the conclave and also the same silver pectoral cross. He refused to use the papal Mercedes, opting instead for an Italian middle class car. 

Not just in Italy though. In Brazil, during World Youth Day, he also opted for a simple car

The crowds followed as the Pope made his way through the streets of Rio, with the windows partly open. Brazilians loved it, but the Pope's security team wasn't that amused.

3– PRESS CONFERENCE 

Without a doubt, the moment that marked his style was the improvised press conference he gave on the way back from Brazil. 

With the Vatican's spokesman at his side, the Pope had a 'no question is off limits' presser, for an hour and 22 minutes. 

This marked a new precedent. He has agreed to more than five thorough interviews. 

4- THE SICK

The Pope has a special place in his heart for the sick. Before celebrating the first Mass of his pontificate, he stopped the popemobile and embraced an ill person. It was a moving moment and since then the Pope has repeated the same gesture countless times. 

Including the embrace of Venicio, at the end of the audience. 

5- IMMIGRANTS 

The plight of refugees and immigrants who are forced to flee their native country is a major concern of Pope Francis. His very first trip, back in July, was to the Italian island of Lampedusa, where thousands of immigrants have died in their search for a better life. In his speech, the Pope used very direct words to make his point. 

POPE FRANCIS
July 8, 2013
"Who has cried for the people who were in that boat? Who has cried for the young mothers who brought their children? Who has cried for the men who were looking for ways to support their families?”

6– PEACE

As Syria dealt with its civil war and with the threat of an American attack looming, the Pope led a prayer vigil to ask for peace, along with thousands of people. With his constant appeals for peace in conflict ridden countries, the Pope was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. 

7- ENDEARING 

One of the most endearing moments happened at the 'World Meeting of Families' when this 6 year old Colombian boy decided he wanted to be next to the Pope at all times. Even as the Pope read his speech. Again, the Pope didn't seem to mind. 

8– JOKES 

When it comes to Pope Francis, there's never a lack of mate tea, since Argentine pilgrims usually offer some to the Pope. Images like this one are seen quite frequently. The Pope usually cracks a few jokes along the way. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"The kid is anti-clerical.” 

POPE FRANCIS 
February 14th, 2013 
"We all know there is no such thing as the perfect family, or perfect husband or wife. Not to mention ... the perfect mother in law.” 

9– HIS BRIEFCASE 

The Pope's schedule is always packed. He has meetings in the mornings and in the afternoons, so it goes without saying that he's always ready to work. The image of Pope Francis carrying his own briefcase, as he boarded a plane to Brazil, outlined his intentions. He wasn't going to World Youth Day as a tourist, rather he was ready to get things done. 

10- BENEDICT XVI 

The image of two popes praying together made its way across the globe. Pope Francis has visited Benedict XVI at least four times. The Pope has described him as a wise grandfather, he can consult. The last time they met was during the consistory in St. Peter's Basilica. 

As the Pope begins the second year of his pontificate, more moving and surprising moments are expected. Especially as he heads out to the Holy Land in May and then in October as he leads a Synod on the Family. 


JRB/KLH 
RR
JM
-BN
up: PM
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