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Papal Trip to Cuba?
April 17, 2015. The Vatican's spokesperson has announced that Pope Francis is considering a trip to Cuba. If the visit takes place it would be before or after his trip to the U.S in September. The process however, is still in its beginning phases, so no official decision has been made. 
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Dates of papal trip to Latin America released
April 16, 2015. The Vatican has announced the dates of Pope's upcoming trip to Latin America. He will visit Ecuador from July 6 to 8. After, he will be in Bolivia from July 8 to 10. He will then go to Paraguay until July 12. 
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Pope's Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations
April 14, 2015. In his message for the event, which will be held on April 26, Pope Francis considers the meaning of "vocation.” He writes that it means to respond to God's call. That is, "allowing him to help us leave ourselves and our false security behind” so that we can find Jesus Christ, "the origin and destiny of our life and our happiness.”

The title of the message is: "Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation.”

Read the full text here.
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New vicar apostolic in Venezuela and bishop in India

April 7, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Ernesto José Romero Rivas, O.F.M. to be Vicar Apostolic of Tucupita (Venezuela). The Pope has also appointed Vincent Aind to be Bishop of Bagdogra (India).

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New Prefect in the Congregation for Catholic Education
March 31, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He also also appointed Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki as a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. 
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New bishop in Mozambique
March 30, 2015. The Pope has appointed Alberto Vera Aréjula, a Spanish missionary, to be Auxiliary Bishop of Xai-Xai in Mozambique.
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New Eparchy and new Exarchate in India
March 26, 2015. The Pope has created the Eparchy of St. John Chrysostom in Gurgaon of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He has also appointed its first bishop, Jacob Barnabas Aerath. Additionally, Pope Francis created the new Apostolic Exarchate of St. Ephrem of Khadki of the Syro-Malankara Church (India). He appointed the first Exarch, Bishop Thomas Mar Anthonios Valiyavilayil.
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New bishop in Ecuador
March 24, 2015. Pope Francis appointed Victor Bertram Wick Enzler to be bishop of Santo Domingo (Ecuador). Until now, he served as auxiliary bishop of Guayaquil, also in Ecuador.

How is someone declared a saint?

2014-04-21

Declaring someone a saint is a process that takes years. But what's actually involved? 

Each canonization includes a long process that's divided in several phases. The first one is carried out by the local diocese of the candidate. 

SILVIA CORREALE
Postulator
"This includes writing and gathering the testimonies of those who directly knew the person. So documents, letters and declarations that shed light on the candidate's grace.” 

The information is then sent to the Vatican, where it's reviewed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. If approved, the candidate is declared a Servant of God

The next step is analyzing whether the candidate manifested heroic virtues that reflect the Gospel. If so, the person is recognized as 'Venerable.' 

CARD. JOSÉ SARAIVA MARTINS
Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
"When someone is declared as having heroic virtues, it's based on the way he or she lived. For example, those who leave everything behind to head out on mission. This is obvious heroism.”  

The next step is being declared a Blessed. For that to happen a miracle needs to be attributed to the candidate. It's a process that involves scientists, doctors and theologians. All of whom will look into the validity of the miracle. 

CARD. JOSÉ SARAIVA MARTINS
Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints 
"One miracle is needed for the beatification to happen.  Yet another for the canonization. This last miracle needs to happen after the beatification ceremony. Unless the person is a martyrin that case a miracle is not necessary.” 

When that happens, on behalf of the Pope, a prefect from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints can celebrate the beatification ceremony, in a location that's relevant to candidate's life. From that point on the Blessed can be venerated. 

So the last stage is to prove that a second miracle took place after the beatification ceremony. If that is approved, then the candidate can be declared a saint. 

Finally, the entire process comes to a close with a canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square, where the candidate is declared a Saint of the Catholic Church. 





AFP/KLH 
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