Pope Francis met with Benedict XVI first time after his selection

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Mar 23, 2013 - Pope Francis met with Benedict XVI on Saturday for the first time since his selection, an historic visit that took place in a fraternal atmosphere. “We are brothers,” Pope Francis told his predecessor before praying side-by-side with him at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. The March 23 encounter marked the first face-to-face meeting between the two since the March 13 election of the new Pope. The encounter is a unique moment in the history of the Church, which has not had a papal resignation in centuries. Holy See Press Office director Father Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio about the meeting. He said there was “a moving embrace between the two” as they first met on the grounds of the Pontifical Villas. Both wore a simple white cassock. Benedict XVI toted a white jacket against the cool mountain air. Francis was dresse ...Read More


Homily of Pope Francis on Palm Sunday - 2013

Vatican City, Mar 24, 2013 - Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday at the Vatican. Preached the crowd in St. Peter's Square that Christ's death on the cross is a source of eternal consolation and joy. Jesus enters Jerusalem. The crowd of disciples accompanies him in festive mood, their garments are stretched out before him, there is talk of the miracles he has accomplished, and loud praises are heard: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Lk 19:38). Crowds, celebrating, praise, blessing, peace: joy fills the air. Jesus has awakened great hopes, especially in the hearts of the simple, the humble, the poor, the forgotten, those who do not matter in the eyes of the world. He understands human sufferings, he has shown the face of God’s mercy, and he has bent down to heal body and ...Read More


Pakistani Muslim artist converted to Christ and cured of cancer

Islamabad, Pakistan, Mar 25,2013  - "Since I converted to Christ, my life is full of love and truth. Today I want to contribute to the work of proclamation, painting and creating representations of Christian statues of Jesus and Mary. It is a spiritual comfort after a radical change. " This is what John Peter (names and places are fictitious to protect people, ed) tells AsiaNews.  The Pakistani artist converted to Christianity from Islam and has faced years of persecution and difficulties of all kinds because of his decision. Among others, stigma and violence from his family of origin - Muslim - and serious diseases such as cancer and hepatitis B, from which he has since recovered. Born and raised in a wealthy and influential Sunni Muslim family - his father was a landowner in Karachi (the southern province of Sindh) - since his early years Sheikh Ilyas Ahmed was interested in Christianity, he became friends with several young membe ...Read More


Pope Francis testimony gave new strength to the people of Syria

Aleppo, Syria - Mar 25, 2013 - The new pope's testimony gave new strength to the people of Syria, beleaguered by more than two years of war. Mgr Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Greek Melkite archbishop of Aleppo, told AsiaNews that "Francis helps us with his speeches, showing us the way to cope with the tragedy we are going through. He reminds us that we live for Christ and that we must do everything possible to stay close to Jesus, who is the only one who can save us. In Aleppo, but also elsewhere in Syria, bishops, priests, religious and faithful have carved this message in their hearts. Everyone is trying to translate it into action and spread it across their dioceses, parishes and families." The decision of faith is so strong that more than 2,000 Syrians havebraved bombs and the danger of attacks to take part in yesterday's Palm Sunday Mass in Aleppo's Greek Melkite Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. "It was a moving service ...Read More


Nepalese greet the new Pope Francis

Kathmandu - Mar 19, 2013 - With torchlight processions and prayer vigils across the country the Nepalese, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists thank and greet the new Pope Francis. For the occasion on 13 March the day of his election, many Christian families decorated their homes to celebrate and March 17 all the Catholic churches of the country celebrated a solemn mass in honor of the Pope. Functions that were also attended by non-Christians. Ganesh Parajuli, a Catholic from Kathmandu says that "this is a historic event for the whole family. We lit candles and prayed together for Francis, and that by his example and his faith in God he will help our communities and give a message of hope to this nation hit by instability and social and political chaos. " The period of the Vacant See, Conclave and the election of the new pope led many believers to renew their faith in God and to spread His message even among Hindus and Buddhists. Binod Gurung, head of the Ne ...Read More


Pope Francis chooses silver ring, pallium style like his predecessors

Vatican City, Mar 19, 2013 - With his fisherman's ring and the pallium -- the main symbols of the Petrine office -- Pope Francis chose styles in continuity with two of his predecessors. The fisherman's ring Pope Francis chose is made of gold-plated silver and is based on the same design of a papal ring handed down from Pope Paul VI's personal secretary. It shows an image of St. Peter holding the two keys -- one key represents the power in heaven and the other indicates the spiritual authority of the papacy on earth. The ring, which represents the pope's role as a "fisher of men," was designed by a late-Italian artist, Enrico Manfrini, who was very close to Pope Paul and his late-secretary, Archbishop Pasquale Macchi. Pope Francis had about three models of rings to choose from, said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, and the pope chose the design that Manfrini gave Archbishop Mac ...Read More


Pope Francis begins his ministry

Vatican City, Mar 19, 2013 - Pope Francis formally began his ministry as bishop of Rome and as pope by pledging to protect the Catholic Church, the dignity of each person and the beauty of creation, just like St. Joseph protected Mary and Jesus. "To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love is to open up a horizon of hope," he told between 150,000 and 200,000 people gathered under sunny skies in St. Peter's Square and the nearby streets. With representatives of other Christian churches and communities, delegations from 132 countries, Jewish and Muslim leaders as well as Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains present, Pope Francis preached the Gospel, but insisted the values it espouses are essentially human, "involving everyone." While the rites and rituals of the inauguration of his ministry as pope took place immediately before the Mass, the lit ...Read More


Pope Francis Message: Mass for the inauguration of the pontificate

  Vatican City, Mar 19, 2013 - " Authentic power is service " and "the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross," a "humble, real, rich faith, "a service that is "to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves": " this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out. " Mass for the beginning of the pontificate is traditionally the occasion for the new Pope to outline, in a way the focal points of his pontificate. Francis speaks of "service" and "protection" and "tenderness" and "humility" and "constant presence" and "respect for all of God's creatures and the environment in which we live" and, in the end, he asks " Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be "protectors" o ...Read More


Pope Francis I: Never yield to pessimism and discouragement

Vatican City, Mar 15, 2013 - Never yield to pessimism and discouragement, bitterness to the devil offers us every day, "seek" new methods of evangelization "to" respond to the mission of Jesus himself and always bring the 'man to Jesus, "follow the Spirit that fosters communion in the Church. It is almost a keynote speech - with an echo of the prophets of doom - addressed today by Pope Francis to the College of Cardinal s during a very "familiar" meeting held in the Clementine Hall. With a new significant reference to "courage" and the teaching of Benedict XVI and an underscoring of '"collegiality" that unites the Cardinal s. The climate was also indicated by his wish to inform his "brothers cardinal" of a heart attack that struck Card. Meja, who is hospitalized, but is better and to whom he has sent his greetings. In his speech, partly improvised, the Pope above all recalled, "My first encounter with the crowd assem ...Read More


Pope Francis I meeting Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Mar 15, 2013 - The press secretary for the Vatican Father Thomas Rosica said that, there was a phone call between the two of them, and I think it would have been a very warm phone call. The pope himself, Pope Francis, told us that that happened, and it's a great way to start off the pontificate. We heard from the balcony, one of the first things that Pope Francis said was, "Join me, please, in saying some prayers of Thanksgiving for him." He invited this massive crowd to pray the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary" for his predecessor, Pope Benedict .Also he added that it's likely they both will meet tomorrow or the next day.Later the Vatican spokesman Father Frederico Lombardi confirmed that Pope Francis has postponed his plan to visit Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo this Thursday.Pope Francis has a set schedule before his installation on March 19.16 Saturday Paul VI Audience Hall, at 11:00 Audience ...Read More


Homily of Pope Francis - Mar 14, 2013

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCISSistine ChapelThursday, 14 March 2013 In these three readings, I see a common element: that of movement. In the first reading, it is the movement of a journey; in the second reading, the movement of building the Church; in the third, in the Gospel, the movement involved in professing the faith. Journeying, building, professing. Journeying. "O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord" (Is 2:5). This is the first thing that God said to Abraham: Walk in my presence and live blamelessly. Journeying: our life is a journey, and when we stop moving, things go wrong. Always journeying, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with the blamelessness that God asked of Abraham in his promise. Building. Building the Church. We speak of stones: stones are solid; but living stones, stones anointed by ...Read More


Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass in Sistine Chapel

Vatican City Mar 14, 2013 - To walk in Christ, to build the Church, to witness Jesus with his cross, said Pope Francis. "When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil . [. . . ] When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly; we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord." This afternoon, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with the 114 Cardinal electors in the same Sistine Chapel where he was elected yesterday. He entered the hall, his hand on the pastoral cross that once belonged to Benedict XVI, to deliver his first homily off-the cuff in Italian. Inside, like an ordinary priest, he went to the ambo to comment the readings. The first one was about Isaiah announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God. The another was from the First Letter of Peter, "Come to him, a li ...Read More


Pope Francis I is the first Jesuit pope

Vatican City, Mar 13, 2013- Jorge Bergoglio, is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from Latin America, from what used to be called the Third World and also the first to have chosen the name Francis, undoubtedly significant and indicative of a style and a program, which also emerged from the first words that he addressed to the huge crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square. " Brothers and sisters good evening. You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother Cardinal s have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him... but here we are. I thank you for the welcome that has come from the diocesan community of Rome. First of all I would like to say a prayer pray for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord will bless him and that our Lady will protect him." He then recited an Our Father, a Hail Mary and a Glory Be. " And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and the people, this journey of t ...Read More


Habemus Papum! Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis I

Vatican City - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ is the new pope. The announcement of the election was made by the protodeacon Card. Jean Louis Tauran, who uttered the words " Nuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam. Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum Jorge Mario sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalem Bergoglio, qui sibi nomen imposuit Francescus." Waiting for the new Pope in St Peter's Square there were about 150 thousand faithful, who steadily increased throughout the day despite the bad weather that has pounded the city of Rome. A few minutes before the pope appeared, together they all shouted "Long live the Pope". The "white smoke" that announces a successful election in Conclave and the bells of St Peter's Basilica ringing "a festa" announcing the event to the world, began at 19.06. Before the opening of the doors central loggia of St. Peter, a military tattoo was relayed by the police and army of Vatican City Sta ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI resignation announcement

The Pope himself announces: "I have reached the certainty that my strength, advanced age, are no longer appropriate to exercise the Petrine ministry properly." The Pontiff has decided that he will resign on February 28. Text of the speech that Pope himself announced the move in Latin, during the consistory for the canonization of the martyrs of Otranto Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its es ...Read More


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