pope francis

POPE’S MESSAGE | Pray with courage, conviction, not mindlessly like a parrot

Pope Francis burned incense as he celebrated Mass marking the World Day of Migrants and Refugees Jan. 14 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. See story, page 26.

VATICAN CITY — Prayer is a "high stakes" endeavor, requiring courage, perseverance and patience, Pope Francis said.

Courage is needed to stick one's neck out and "challenge the Lord," pursuing and confronting Him with one's appeals, the pope said Jan. 12 in the homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"If prayer isn't courageous, it isn't Christian," he said.

Pope marries couple on flight during Chilean trip

Pope Francis performed an impromptu wedding ceremony for Latam Airlines employees Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga, 41, and Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, aboard the pontiff's flight from Santiago, Chile, to Iquique Jan. 18.

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO IQUIQUE, Chile -- Love was in the air as Pope Francis performed an impromptu wedding ceremony at 36,000 feet aboard his flight in Chile.

During his flight to Iquique Jan. 18, the pope was approached by LatAm flight steward Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga and asked for a blessing for him and his wife, stewardess Paula Podest Ruiz.

The couple were supposed to be married in their home parish in Santiago Feb. 27, 2010. However, tragedy struck when an earthquake destroyed the church. Eight years later, they remained only civilly married.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t rush through silence at Mass

Silent prayer of Mass should not be hurried, Pope Francis said in his weekly audience Jan. 10. St. Matthew parishioner Martha Buck at the funeral Mass for Sister Antona Ebo at St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Church in November.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has described the silence that precedes the opening prayer at Mass an opportunity for Christians to commend to God the fate of the Church and the world.

At his weekly general audience Jan. 10, the pope urged priests "to observe this brief silence and not hurry. ... I recommend this to the priests. Without this silence, we risk neglecting the reflection of the soul."

Continuing his series of audience talks on the Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the Gloria and the opening prayer.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Don’t confess other’s faults, own up to sins

Pope Francis received a bouquet of flowers at his general audience Jan. 3 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Fear and the shame of admitting one's own sins leads to pointing fingers and accusing others rather than recognizing one's own faults, Pope Francis said.

"It's difficult to admit being guilty, but it does so much good to confess with sincerity. But you must confess your own sins," the pope said Jan. 3 at his first general audience of the new year.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Get to Mass early; don’t calculate how late you can be

Pope Francis blew out a candle on a 13-foot-long pizza at a special meeting to celebrate his 81st birthday Dec. 17 at the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. A group of children receiving assistance from the Vatican’s St. Martha Dispensary, a maternal and pediatric clinic, gave the pope a birthday party Dec. 17 marked with singing, dancing and a cake adorned with gold and white fondant decorations.

VATICAN CITY — Don't be late for Mass believing the introductory rites don't matter, Pope Francis told visitors and pilgrims.

The words and gestures that open the celebration help the faithful come together as one and prepare them to listen to the Word of God and celebrate the Eucharist worthily, he said Dec. 20 at his weekly general audience.

"It is not a good habit to be looking at the clock" and calculating how much of the beginning of Mass would be OK to miss and still fulfill one's obligation, he said.

Pope says Our Lady of Guadalupe feast shows Mary’s closeness to those on margins

Pope Francis venerated an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as he celebrated Mass Dec. 12 marking her feast day in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which mirrored that of the indigenous people of the time, is a sign of Mary's closeness to those who are marginalized, Pope Francis said.

Like St. Juan Diego, who felt like he was of no importance at being chosen by Mary because of his indigenous heritage, marginalized people in today's world are often made to feel worthless by conditions imposed upon them, the pope said in his homily during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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