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Pope Francis greeted a girl as he arrives to lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Feb. 19.
March 12, 2014

WASHINGTON -- Pope Francis' popularity began immediately after his March 13, 2013, election when he walked onto the balcony and humbly greeted the crowd in St. Peter's Square.

His appeal has been on a fast track ever since, causing many to speculate the existence...

Pope Francis arrived for a weeklong Lenten retreat with senior members of the Roman Curia in Ariccia, near Rome, March 9. The pope did not hold weekly audience because he was on retreat.
March 12, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- When temptation comes your way, don't try to "dialogue" or argue with the devil, Pope Francis said, but seek refuge and strength in the words of the Bible.

Addressing tens of thousands of people gathered for the Angelus in St. Peter's Square March...

Pope Francis attended a weeklong Lenten retreat with senior members of the Roman Curia in Ariccia, Italy, March 9.
March 12, 2014

The image of Pope Francis taking a bus with other cardinals, archbishops and top Vatican officials earlier this month to go on a Lenten retreat has become a scene very familiar to Catholics.

It's one of the most visible ways by which Pope Francis has marked his...

Rain fell as Pope Francis led the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican March 2. The pope asked the world’s Christians to pray for Ukraine and urged the parties involved in the conflict to engage in dialogue.
March 06, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said.

Lent is time to "change course, to recover the ability to respond to the...

Pope Francis imposed ashes on the head of Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko during Ash Wednesday Mass at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome.
March 06, 2014

ROME -- Lent is meant to wake up Christians and help them see that God can give them the strength to change their lives and their surroundings, Pope Francis said.

Before receiving and distributing ashes at an evening Mass March 5, Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis gave...

February 26, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are...

February 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Never hesitate to call a priest to bless and anoint sick or elderly family members, Pope Francis said.

Some people worry receiving the sacrament of the anointing of the sick "brings bad luck" and "the hearse will come next," the pope said. "This is...

Retired Pope Benedict XVI greeted Pope Francis at the conclusion of a consistory at which Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 22. Pope Benedict’s presence at the ceremony marked the first time he had joined Pope Francis for a public liturgy.
February 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- On a feast day commemorating the authority Jesus gave to St. Peter and his successors -- the popes -- Pope Francis created 19 new cardinals in the presence of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

To the great surprise of most people present, the retired...

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney arrived for Pope Francis' Mass with new cardinals in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Feb. 23. The Vatican announced Feb. 24 that Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Pell to head a new Vatican office overseeing Vatican finances.
February 24, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- In a move reflecting both his drive to reform the Vatican bureaucracy and his oft-stated desire to include laypeople in the leadership of the church, Pope Francis established a new panel, to include almost as many lay members as clerics, to oversee the...

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish on the outskirts of Rome Feb. 16.
February 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- If you haven't been to confession recently, don't wait, Pope Francis told people at his weekly general audience. One may walk into the confessional with a heavy heart, but forgiveness brings freedom and lightness.

"If a lot of time has passed, don'...

February 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Greeting thousands of engaged couples on the feast of St. Valentine, Pope Francis told them not to be afraid of building a permanent and loving relationship in a culture where everything is disposable and fleeting.

The secrets to a loving and...

February 19, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met for the third time in late February with his international Council of Cardinals, an eight-member group advising him on the reform of the Vatican bureaucracy and other issues.

The Feb. 17-19 meetings focused on financial and...

February 12, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist should make a difference in the way Catholics live, Pope Francis said; they should be more accepting of others and more aware of their sinfulness.

"If we don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we...

February 05, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- It's important to go to Mass every Sunday because that's where people receive Christ who saves, forgives and unites everyone to His Father, Church and each other, Pope Francis said.

It's also "important that children are well prepared for first...

February 05, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- A Church without religious sisters would be "unthinkable," Pope Francis said, honoring the contributions consecrated men and women make to the Church and society.

"Every consecrated person is a gift to the people of God on pilgrimage," he said Feb...

Pope Francis watched as children released doves from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Jan. 26. The two young people at his side launched doves to highlight the Church’s call for peace in the world.
January 29, 2014

VATICAN CITY -- Many Catholic parents go to great lengths to ensure their children are baptized, and they must make similar efforts to see that their children are confirmed, Pope Francis said.

Without confirmation, he said, young people will remain "halfway" on...

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