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Pope Francis arrived for a photo in the Sistine Chapel with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See during the traditional exchange of new year’s greetings at the Vatican Jan. 9. The pope said that all religions are “called to promote peace.”
January 11, 2017

VATICAN CITY — Watch out for the tempting promises and easy rewards of false gods and idols because they always lead to confusion, disappointment and even death, Pope Francis said.

"We are tempted to seek even fleeting comfort, which seems to fill the emptiness of...

Pope Francis greeted people in St. Peter’s Square after leading vespers on New Year’s Eve at the Vatican Dec. 31.
January 05, 2017

VATICAN CITY — Whether the new year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day, Pope Francis said.

"That is how one builds peace, saying 'no' to hatred and violence — with action — and 'yes' to fraternity and reconciliation," he said Jan. 1,...

Pope Francis listened to a speaker as he leads his weekly audience Jan. 4 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican.
January 05, 2017

VATICAN CITY — In the depths of despair, when no words or gestures will help, then cry with those who suffer, because tears are the seeds of hope, Pope Francis said.

When people are hurting, "it is necessary to share in their desperation. In order to dry the tears...

Pope Francis leads the Angelus from the window of his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square Dec. 18 at the Vatican.
December 22, 2016

VATICAN CITY — The birth of Christ is a reminder for Christians to take a moment and reflect on the hope of salvation given by God to the world, Pope Francis said.

Those who are humble and poor like the shepherds come to realize the promise of hope that comes from...

Pope Francis celebrated Mass marking the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 12.
December 15, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Christmas is a time to open your heart to the little and wondrous things found in baby Jesus — born poor and defenseless so He could be near and bring hope to everyone, Pope Francis said.

"The most beautiful joy of Christmas is that inner joy of...

December 14, 2016

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christmas is a time to open your heart to the little and wondrous things found in baby Jesus -- born poor and defenseless so he could be near and bring hope to everyone, Pope Francis said.

"The most beautiful joy of Christmas is that inner...

Pope Francis waved as he led the Angelus Dec. 4 from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
December 13, 2016

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even though Pope Francis was planning a "normal" workday for his birthday, well-wishers can help brighten it up with special tweets and emails.

Turning 80 Dec. 17, Pope Francis was going to start the day with Mass together with cardinals...

Pope Francis attended an Advent reflection given by Capuchin Franciscan Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, Dec. 2 in the Redemptoris Mater chapel at the Vatican.
December 08, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Christian hope is not the same as being optimistic about the future, but is knowing that whatever dark or frightening things are going on in one's life, God is there offering protection and light, Pope Francis said.

Holding his general audience in...

Pope Francis touched a rosary at his general audience Nov. 30 in Paul VI hall at the Vatican. The pope concluded a series of catechesis talks on the Works of Mercy by reflecting on burying the dead and praying for the living and the dead.
December 01, 2016

VATICAN CITY — The Year of Mercy and its series of papal reflections may be over, but compassion and acts of mercy must continue and become a part of everyone's daily lives, Pope Francis said.

"Let us commit ourselves to praying for each other so that the corporal...

December 01, 2016

VATICAN CITY — God reveals His mysteries, not to the wise and learned, but to those who are childlike, that is, to people who are humble and fear the Lord, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

"Fear of the Lord isn't fright. No. It is living the command God gave...

Pope Francis and former Cuban President Fidel Castro grasped each other’s hands at Castro’s residence in Havana Sept. 20, 2015. Castro, who seized power in a 1959 revolution and governed Cuba until 2006, died Nov. 25 at the age of 90.
December 01, 2016

MIAMI — In a video message, Cuban President Raul Castro announced the Nov. 25 death of his 90-year-old brother and longtime Cuban leader and Communist icon whom many in Latin America known by just one name: Fidel.

"It is with great sorrow that I come before you to...

Pope Francis closed the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the closing of the jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican Nov. 20.
November 23, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Following Christ the King, whose regal power is love and mercy, means the whole Church and each Christian must "follow his way of tangible love," Pope Francis said.

Celebrating the feast of Christ the King Nov. 20 and officially closing the...

Pope Francis delivered his blessing at his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 23.
November 23, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Everyone experiences doubts about the faith at times — "I have" many times, Pope Francis said — but such doubts can be "a sign that we want to know God better and more deeply."

"We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts because they are...

Pope Francis signed an apostolic letter, "Misericordia et Misera," (Mercy and Misery) after celebrating the closing Mass of the jubilee Year of Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. In the letter the pope called for several special initiatives begun during the Year of Mercy to continue on a permanent basis.
November 21, 2016

VATICAN CITY -- Acknowledging and sharing God's mercy is a permanent part of the Christian life, so initiatives undertaken during the special Year of Mercy must continue, Pope Francis said.

"Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church," the...

Pope Francis celebrated Mass Nov. 13 in St. Peter’s Basilica. Christians persevere in hope and love — no matter what upheavals and difficulties arise, he said in the homily
November 17, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Offering counsel and admonishing sinners are works of mercy, but they aren't a license to pretend to be better than others, Pope Francis said.

To counsel others is a chance to see how well you, too, measure up to essential standards, he said Nov. 16...

Pope Francis talked with residents on a visit May 13 at the “Chicco” Community in Ciampino, Italy, for his monthly Mercy Friday in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The community was founded in 1981 and houses 18 people with intellectual challenges.
November 10, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Tears, prayers, caresses — but most of all, listening — were the hallmarks of Pope Francis' "Mercy Friday" visits during the Year of Mercy.

As the jubilee began last December, Pope Francis said he would ditch the media one Friday afternoon each...

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