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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.

Japan's prime minister gives Pope a Japanese magic mirror

2014-06-06

Pope Francis met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.

During their brief meeting, they exchanged their thoughts on peace in Asia and nuclear disarmament. Afterward, Abe introduced several members of his government to the Pope.

But the highlight was the traditional gift exchange between the two. The Japanese leader gave the Pope a magic mirror.

At first glance, it appears to be normal. But when exposed to light, it displays an image of Christ and a cross. Early Japanese Christians used the mirror when they were persecuted.

"They had this mirror to keep their faith hidden. But when we place it under light, we can see...”

The prime minister didn't hesitate to show the Pope the mirror trick.

He also gave the Pope paintings of Paul V with Hasekura Tsunenaga, a converted samurai that visited the Vatican 400 years ago. 

For his part, Pope Francis gave Abe a different medallion that the ones he usually gives visiting world leaders.

"It shows the Angel helping Peter escape from his jail cell.”

Shinzo Abe stopped at the Vatican two days after the G7 meeting ended in Brussels. As they said goodbye, the Pope asked for prayers, to which the prime minister responded with a formal Japanese acknowledgment.


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