2017-03-29.  Pope Francis calls for protection of civilians trapped in Mosul

The pope began the General Audience traveling in popemobile in St. Peter's Square and stopping to greet the little ones.

During the meeting, Pope Francis greeted an interreligious delegation from Iraq. He asked them to continue working to build peace and prosperity through reconciliation and harmony between ethnic and religious groups. He then denounced the situation of the 400,000 civilians trapped in Mosul. At least 200 died last Thursday during a bombing from the international anti-jihadist coalition.

POPE FRANCIS
"My thoughts are with the citizens trapped in the western neighborhoods of Mosul, and those displaced because of the war, to whom I feel united in suffering. I renew to everyone, my request to work with all the forces to protect the civilians, which is an imperative and urgent obligation."

Pope Francis also continued his catechesis on hope. He reflected again on Abraham, who did not lose hope even though he did not see the promises of God fulfilled.


2017-03-28.  Pope in Santa Marta: Laziness is worse than a lukewarm heart

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis invited each person to live his or her own life in the best possible way with what each one has been given.

POPE FRANCIS
"Today the Lord to each of us says, 'Get up, take your life as it is, beautiful, ugly as it is. Take it and move on. Do not be afraid, go ahead with your mat' - 'But, Lord, it is not the latest model …' But go ahead! With that ugly stretcher perhaps, but go ahead! And with your life, your joy. 'Do you want to get well?' This is the first question the Lord asks us today? 'Yes, Lord' – 'Rise.'"

The pope also explained that it is wrong to complain or always blame others for what happens to us. He added that the paralysis of the soul is due to laziness, which is worse than having a lukewarm heart.

2017-03-27.  Pope Francis warns in the Angelus: Prejudice distorts reality

After a tiring day trip to Milan on Saturday, the pope greeted 25,000 people from the window of the papal apartments in St. Peter's Square. With his voice slightly affected by exhaustion, he warned against two dangers: the first one, prejudice.

POPE FRANCIS
"Prejudice distorts reality and fills us with aversion against those who judge without mercy and condemn without possibility of appeal. This is what we deal with daily." The other danger against which he warned was that of false friendships and of seeking selfish relationships to satisfy personal interests.

POPE FRANCIS
"If we value men and things only based on the criterion of what is useful to us, like our pleasure, our prestige... these relationships and situations are not true."

At the end of the Angelus, the pope recalled a group of 115 martyrs from the Spanish Civil War who were beatified a day earlier. Among them was the first gypsy woman to be declared a martyr.

2017-03-27.  Pope's schedule: More ad limina visits, and a trip to the northern Italian town of Carpi

Pope Francis is spending much of his time on "ad limina" visits. They are visits that the world's bishops periodically make to the pope to inform him about the situation of their dioceses.

On Monday, the first of these meetings will be with the bishops of Western Canada, a country where almost 40% are Catholics.

The rest of the week will develop normally. Pope Francis will celebrate mass every day at his residence in Casa Santa Marta, and will preside over Wednesday's General Audience.

On Saturday, he will meet with the bishops of the Spanish College, who are traveling to Rome to commemorate the 125th anniversary of this institution.

On Sunday, Pope Francis will make another pastoral visit inside Italy. He will visit Carpi, in northern Italy, an area that suffered serious damages and seven fatalities in the 2012 earthquakes.

2017-03-25.  Pope visits apartments in popular Milan neighborhood

Upon landing in Milan, Pope Francis will visit a  peripheral neighborhood, where 40% of the residents are not Italians. Pope Francis will enter two or three apartments, meet with people in a square, and address those of Rom and Muslim ethnicity.

2017-03-24.  This is how the first delegations of leaders arrived at the Vatican, almost one hour before their meeting with the pope.

Pope Francis joined the European Union's 60th birthday celebrations with this meeting of the Heads of State and Government of its 27 member countries.

The leaders are in Italy to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome signing, which marked the beginning of the current European Union.

All involved in this important event were brought together in the Sala Regia, where Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and the President of European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, were also in attendance.

The Pope gave a powerful speech, in which he praised the founding father's visions: the Europe they wanted and the one that it is called to be.

POPE FRANCIS

"The founding fathers remind us that Europe is not a conglomeration of rules to obey, or a manual of protocols and procedures to follow. It is a way of life, a way of understanding man based on his transcendent and inalienable dignity, as something more than simply a sum of rights to defend or claims to advance."

2017-03-24.  Pope to EU leaders: Populism arises from selfishness and suffocates us

This is how the first delegations of leaders arrived at the Vatican, almost one hour before their meeting with the pope.

Pope Francis joined the European Union's 60th birthday celebrations with this meeting of the Heads of State and Government of its 27 member countries.

The leaders are in Italy to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome signing, which marked the beginning of the current European Union.

All involved in this important event were brought together in the Sala Regia, where Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and the President of European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, were also in attendance.

The Pope gave a powerful speech, in which he praised the founding father's visions: the Europe they wanted and the one that it is called to be.

POPE FRANCIS
"The founding fathers remind us that Europe is not a conglomeration of rules to obey, or a manual of protocols and procedures to follow. It is a way of life, a way of understanding man based on his transcendent and inalienable dignity, as something more than simply a sum of rights to defend or claims to advance."


2017-03-23.  Pope Francis will canonize two of the shepherd's of Fatima

Siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto were illiterate. Their life was typical of humble families in the rural areas of Portugal in the first part of the twentieth century: they spent their days in the fields, taking care of their herds. Their lives changed, however, with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary which took place between May and October, 1917. At the time they were seven and nine years of age, respectively.

JOSÉ CALDAS: Rector, Portuguese College (Rome)

"It is interesting to see how God, through the Virgin Mary, addressed the children. She used the language of that time, which to us may seem archaic, and used a language for children. The children were captivated by the message, and by Our Lady. They had the capacity to let themselves be captivated."

The first apparition of Our Lady was on May 13. She told them that she would return on the thirteenth day of the following month. The message of conversion entrusted to them by the Virgin Mary radically changed their lives and their character. They began to spend much time in prayer, asking for the forgiveness of the sins of the world.

News of the appearances attracted hundreds of people, but also aroused the suspicions of the local authorities. Francisco, Jacinta and the other visionary, Lucia, were sequestered by the police.

The only one of the three visionaries to live to a ripe old age was Lucia. Francisco and Jacinta fell ill and died a few years after the apparitions, in 1919 and 1920, at the age of nine and 10 years, respectively.

Their young age was not an obstacle to their beatification by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000. Before that, only young children who were martyrs had been declared saints.



Music: God So Loved The World
This page updated April 2, 2017