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November 20, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- The goal of the Year of Faith, which concludes Nov. 24, has been to educate Catholics about basic Church teachings, strengthen their faith and inspire them to share it with others. If it has succeeded, as organizers say it has, the credit ultimately lies...

Pope Francis held up a box of “spiritual medicine” after praying the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Nov. 17. The pope said the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet are “a spiritual aid for our soul and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood to everyone.”
November 20, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said he goes to confession every two weeks, knowing that God never tires of forgiving those who repent, but also knowing that having a priest say "I absolve you" reinforces belief in God's mercy.

Using the literal Italian translation...

Pope Francis held up a box of "spiritual medicine" after praying the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 17. The box contained a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medicinal-style instruction sheet. The pope said the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet are "a spiritual aid for our soul and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood to everyone."
November 18, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis admitted he wasn't a pharmacist, but he didn't hesitate being the spokesman for the heart-healthy benefits of 59 little pills strung together: the rosary.

"I want to recommend some medicine for all of you," the pope said Nov. 17 at the...

Pope Francis greeted a disabled person during a meeting with UNITALSI, an Italian Catholic association for the transportation of sick people to Lourdes and other Marian shrines, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 9.
November 13, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.

Baptism is "God's powerful intervention in our lives to save us. This...

Residents walked on a road littered with debris Nov. 10 after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban, Philippines. The typhoon, one of the strongest storms in history, is believed to have killed tens of thousands, but aid workers were still trying to reach remote areas.
November 11, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis led prayers for people hit by a deadly typhoon in the Philippines and surrounding region, and asked that concrete aid be sent soon.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis will hold a special collection this weekend at the request of Archbishop...

November 06, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Although preparations for the 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will include an assessment of Catholics' attitudes toward relevant Church teachings, the synod's work will be based on Catholic doctrine and not on current public opinion,...

Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of St. Peter inside St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Nov. 2, All Souls’ Day.
November 06, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Saying, "don't worry, we aren't taking up a collection," Pope Francis asked people at his weekly general audience to perform an act of charity by praying for a seriously ill 18-month-old girl named Noemi.

Being part of the Church means sharing "...

Pope Francis touched the head of a child as he addressed pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 26. He addressed an estimated 100,000 people taking part in a Year of Faith celebration of family life.
October 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Trials and doubts are part of everyone's faith journey, "even mine," Pope Francis said, but Christians know they can get through the hard times with help from God, other Christians and those in heaven.

"Who hasn't experienced insecurities, losses...

Two priests prostrated themselves during their episcopal ordination in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 24. Pope Francis ordained French Bishop Jean-Marie Speich, the new apostolic nuncio to Ghana, and Italian Bishop Giampiero Gloder, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Vatican school for diplomats.
October 30, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Being named a bishop isn't an honor, but a call to special service, Pope Francis said.

Ordaining new bishops for the first time in his pontificate, Pope Francis told them the "responsibility of a bishop is to serve rather than to dominate."

...

October 23, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- No matter how some media may want to spin it, Pope Francis won't fit into the political categories of left or right, and he will challenge everyone with the truth of the Gospel, said the Vatican's media adviser.

"Pope Francis is not a politically...

Pope Francis tried on a zucchetto given by Providence College student Joseph Day at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 16. The pope tried on the zucchetto, which had a hot pink sticky note stuck inside, then gave it back to Day.
October 23, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Seeing Mary as a model of faith teaches Christians that total dedication to Jesus does not take them away from real life because faith is lived through the chores and cares of everyday existence, Pope Francis said.

Mary lived her faith "in the...

Pope Francis made the sign of the cross as he prayed in front of the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima during a Marian vigil in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 12.
October 16, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- The Church can describe itself as "apostolic" only if it shares the Gospel with the world, remaining faithful to the teaching of the apostles and living out Gospel values, Pope Francis said.

"A Church closed in on itself and its past, a Church...

October 09, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Professing that the Church is "catholic" means accepting its teachings, accepting the gifts it offers to help one grow in holiness and accepting the fact that it is composed of different people with different gifts and opinions, Pope Francis said.

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October 02, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Who are the holy men and women Pope Francis looks up to? He revealed many of them in two recently published interviews.

Here, in no exact order, are the saints Pope Francis has a particular fondness for or credits with playing an important role in...

October 02, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on Church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near...

Pope Francis spoke on perils of overemphasizing Church teaching in a lengthy interview.
October 02, 2013

VATICAN CITY -- In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with one of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Catholic teaching on sexual and medical ethics; the reasons for his deliberate and consultative...

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