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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.
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Pope accepts the resignation of Cardinal O'Brien
March 20, 2015. The Pope has accepted the resignation of "the rights and prerogatives of the cardinal" from Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of Edinburgh.

Medieval 'Sistine Chapel' in Rome opens its doors

2014-07-13

Judging by the sober appearance of this monastery in Rome, it's hard to imagine the vibrant treasures hidden within. Colorful frescoes adorn the vaulted ceilings of its Gothic Hall, transporting visitors to the 13th Century.

ETTORE PIETRABISSA
General Director, ARCUS
"They discovered them about 10 years ago, when, for the first time, experts realized that underneath a coat of paint, added probably in the 16th Century, there were this frescoes, which we've been uncovering bit by bit.”

After a decade in restoration, the splendor of these images resurfaced. The expressions of their characters, whether happy or serious, tell a story of a different, bygone era.

ANDREINA DRAGHI
Italian Ministry of Tourism
"From the bottom up, they represent the months of the year and their respective crops. Then we have the arts, and further up, in the vaulted ceiling, the four seasons and the winds.”

ETTORE PIETRABISSA
General Director, ARCUS
"This frescoes are slowly gathering a reputation as the 'Sistine Chapel' of the 13th Century, and surely, they're unique. In fact, they're the only complete works from before the 13th century that we've found intact, in Rome.”

The Gothic Hall's frescoes, located at Rome's Basilica of the Four Crowned Martyrs, are incredibly detailed. It even includes one of the first-ever portraits of St. Francis of Assisi, painted some 20 years after the saint's death.

For the first time, these treasures, once hidden from view, are open to the public, and with them, the opportunity to travel back in time to the Middle Ages.


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