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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.


 

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Pope Flying Back
August 18, 2014. Pope Francis is now on his way back to Rome. He took off from South Korea on Monday afternoon. During his flight, the Pope sent a telegram to Korea, China and Mongolia as he was flying over those countries. The Pope is expected to arrive in Rome’s Ciampino airport at 17.45 Rome time. 

Pope Francis says goodbye to youngest ambassador to the Holy See

2014-07-08

The youngest ambassador accredited to the Holy See bid farewell to the Eternal City. He's now 40, but arrived at the age of 36. Perhaps it's his youth that made Costa Rica's Fernando Sanchez one of the most active diplomats in Rome.

One of his last official acts was saying goodbye to Pope Francis, who thanked him and gave him a special gift.

FERNANDO SANCHEZ
Ambassador of Costa Rica
"He talked to me right away about Costa Rica, he told me: 'Costa Ricans are now well known,' because of the World Cup. I gave him a jersey of the national team, which read Pope Francis. He was very happy. In the end, my son, who's always been fascinated with the papal hat, brought one for him and they switched. I couldn't ask for anything better.”

Sanchez' son is used to the attention. He gave Benedict XVI flowers when his father presented his letter of credentials in 2010.

Two weeks after after this first meeting, the Pope mentioned Costa Rica twice during the 2010 Christmas Urbi et Orbi message. 

BENEDICT XVI
Urbi et Orbi 2010
"May the same hold true not only for those in Colombia and Venezuela, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica, who recently suffered natural disasters... May it encourage dialogue between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and may it advance reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.”

He spent less than four years in Rome. But during that time he coordinated three visits by his country's president to the Vatican, even though Benedict XVI dedicated less time to meeting heads of state in his later years.

An ambassador's goals include making his country's presence known. Today, the Vatican's lone parish has a chapel dedicated to the patroness of Costa Rica, Our Lady of the Angels.

He also brokered a partnership between Costa Rica and the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, a Vatican's hospital founded by Father Pio.

The outgoing ambassador said his successor could finalize pending agreements with the Vatican Museums, the Vatican Library, and the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

His send off also included a Mass, presided by Card. Antonio Cañizares. Naturally, it took place in the same parish that houses the chapel dedicated to Costa Rica's patroness.

CARD. ANTONIO CAÑIZARES
Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship
"At the end of your service, Fernando, you may leave happy. You sought to serve your country and the Church, to serve God. May He help you, may Our Lady of the Angels protect you and your family, and the beloved nation of Costa Rica.”

Sanchez' term coincided with several decisive moments at the Vatican and the world. They included the resignation of Benedict XVI, and the first year of Pope Francis' historic pontificate. 


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