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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...

Pope Francis arrived to lead his general audience Nov. 9 in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The pope’s catechesis focused on two works of mercy, visiting the sick and visiting the imprisoned.
November 10, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Visiting the sick and the imprisoned are works of mercy that not only benefit the suffering and the abandoned, but benefit the visitors who are enriched by being with those who suffer like Christ, Pope Francis said.

While the works of mercy are...

Pope Francis embraced the Rev. Martin Junge, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, at an ecumenical prayer service Oct. 31 at the Lutheran cathedral in Lund, Sweden.
November 03, 2016

MALMO, Sweden — The sheet of ice and the penalty boxes were gone from Malmo Arena Oct. 31 as Catholics and Lutherans filled the stands and promised to work together for peace — particularly in Syria — and for justice — especially for refugees.

Pope Francis and...

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Rome’s Prima Porta cemetery Nov. 2, the feast of All Souls.
November 03, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Visiting a cemetery on the feast of All Souls can evoke feelings of loss and sadness, but for Christians marking the feast, it also is an affirmation of hope in the resurrection, Pope Francis said.

Through His death on the cross, Jesus "opened for...

Pope Francis lead his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 26. The pope’s catechesis focused on welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked, two of the corporal works of mercy.
October 27, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Closing doors to immigrants and refugees is not the answer — it only helps encourage the crime of human trafficking, Pope Francis said.

"The only way for resolution is through solidarity," where everyone pitches in because "all together we are a...

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