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New auxiliary bishops in Brooklyn (USA)
May 19, 2015. Pope Francis has named James Massa and Witold Mroziewski, who is Polish, auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn (USA). The area has about 4.8 million residents, and 1.5 million are Catholic.
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Oscar Romero becomes patron of Caritas Internationalis

May 18, 2015. Msgr. Oscar Romero was adopted as a patron of Caritas Internationalis, according to an announcement that came just after the organization's General Assembly in Rome ended. The former Archbishop of San Salvador will be beatified on May 23, more than 35 years after he was assassinated while performing Mass.

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Appointments
May 15, 2015. Pope Francis has appointed Domenico Pompili as the new Bishop of Rieti, Italy. He will take the post previously held by Bishop Delio Lucarelli.
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Appointments
May 11, 2015. Pope Francis has nominated Fr. Jorge Enrique Izaguirre Rafael as the New Bishop of Chuquibamba, Peru. He will take over the post previously held by Msgr. Mario Busquets Jordá. 
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New bishops in Brazil, Spain and the Democratic Republic of Congo
May 6, 2015. The Pope has appointed Tarcísio Scaramussa, to be the Bishop of Santos (Brazil). Until now, the position was held by Jacyr Francisco Braido. Also in Brazil, the Pope has appointed Edson de Castro Homem to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Iguatu and Agenor Girardi to be Bishop of the Diocese of Uniao da Vitoria.

The Vatican also announced that the Pope has appointed Manuel Sánchez Monge bishop of the Diocese of Santander (Spain). Emery Kibal Mansong'loo will become the Bishop of Kule (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Further, there is a new Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe (Philippines) and two new members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Archbishop of Dijon Roland Minnerath and Anthony Colin Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney.
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Raúl Castro to meet with Pope
May 6, 2015. Cuban President Raúl Castro will meet privately with Pope Francis on Sunday morning, May 10. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi  said, "President Raúl Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in fostering the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States of America."

The Story Behind the Feast Day of St. Mary Major and why it's important to Pope Francis

2014-08-05

Immediately following his election to the papacy, Pope Francis said that his first visit would be to pray before the Virgin Mary. 

POPE FRANCIS
March 13, 2013
"Tomorrow I want to go to pray before Our Lady so that she may protect all of Rome.”

Since then, Francis has shown his devotion to the Blessed Mother in this same site, in front of the 'Salus Populi Romani' icon, which means 'the salvation of the Roman people.'

In May, he returned to the shrine to pray the Rosary. He has also entrusted all of his visits to the patroness of Rome. He visited Saint Mary Major before traveling to Brazil for World Youth Day. Upon his return, he stopped at the basilica on his way back to the Vatican, leaving a soccer ball and shirt on the altar, souvenirs from Rio de Janeiro. He repeated the same gesture before and after his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 

He made other solemn visits during the procession of Corpus Christi, where he blessed the faithful in the church square. 

According to tradition, the Virgin Mary appeared to Pope Liberius in his dreams. She told him that she would indicate the area in Rome in which she wanted a basilica built. On a hot summer day, on August 5th 358, the Esquiline area of Rome was covered in snow. Liberius ordered the construction of a basilica in that same area and since then, many Popes have visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Following tradition and his own personal devotion, Francis has venerated the patroness of Rome on numerous occasions showing that the Blessed Mother is a crucial part of his papacy. 


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