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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...

Mosaic ceiling in the lower chapel of Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum.
October 25, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Professing belief in the resurrection of the dead and affirming that the human body is an essential part of a person's identity, the Catholic Church insists that the bodies of the deceased be treated with respect and laid to rest in a consecrated place....

Pope Francis walked to the stage to lead his general audience Oct. 19 in St. Peter’s Square.
October 20, 2016

VATICAN CITY — While donation campaigns and charitable contributions for the needy are important, true Christian charity involves a more personal touch, Pope Francis said.

Coming face to face with the poor may pose a challenge and tempt people to turn the other...

Pope Francis kisses a crying child during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 12. The pope called for an immediate cease-fire in Syria so that civilians can be rescued.
October 13, 2016

VATICAN CITY — All it takes is just one person carrying out one simple, loving act of mercy every day to start a revolution and stamp out the "virus of indifference," Pope Francis said.

Sharing God's mercy is not about expending a huge amount of effort or...

October 10, 2016

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis will conclude the Year of Mercy by creating 17 new cardinals, including three from the United States: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Archbishop...

A dog licks Pope Francis as he meets members of an agility dog club during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 5.
October 06, 2016

VATICAN CITY — Christians are called to follow the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, who helped draw people to Jesus by way of attraction, not by proselytizing, Pope Francis said.

She was a reminder that an authentic witness is proclaimed through a union with...

Pope Francis celebrates Mass Sept. 27 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican. Don't respond to grief or anguish with pills, alcohol or avoidance, Pope Francis said during his homily.
September 29, 2016

VATICAN CITY — The Church is not just for people who are good, who think they're good or pretend to be good, it is for everyone, especially the bad because the Church is mercy, Pope Francis said.

No one is excluded from God's forgiveness, even the worst sinners,...

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