Pope Francis

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Pope Francis in Lesbos, Greece

Pope Francis speaking at the Port of Lesbos, Greece, April 16th, 2016.
Pope Francis speaking at the Port of Lesbos, Greece, April 16th, 2016.

Today Pope Francis traveled to Lesbos, Greece. It was also reported that the journey was rather spontaneous to some degree. During the flight he sent greetings to heads of state of the nations he flew over (full text), and him and those accompanying him sent message of birthday good wishes to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (press release in Italian). As well, Pope Francis addressed the journalists on board (full text).

Upon arrival at the Lesbos airport, there was a welcome ceremony (full video). He was greeted by and met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (press release), the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, and the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos II (also called Jerome II). Throughout the day, Bartholomew and Ieronymos II traveled with him everywhere.

At Lesbos, he visited the Mòria Refugee Camp (full video, summary video). Also while at the camp, a woman there broke down in tears before him (summary video). Additionally at the camp, Ieronymos II (full text), Bartholomew I (full text), and Pope Francis (full text) gave addresses on the tragedy there and on God’s plans for the planet Earth, and together they signed a joint declaration (full text) regarding that all people should enjoy remaining in their homelands in peace. Here is a few good quotes from the declaration:

As leaders of our respective Churches, we are one in our desire for peace and in our readiness to promote the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and reconciliation. While acknowledging the efforts already being made to provide help and care to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, we call upon all political leaders to employ every means to ensure that individuals and communities, including Christians, remain in their homelands and enjoy the fundamental right to live in peace and security.

For our part, in obedience to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, we firmly and wholeheartedly resolve to intensify our efforts to promote the full unity of all Christians. We reaffirm our conviction that ‘reconciliation [among Christians] involves promoting social justice within and among all peoples… Together we will do our part....’

He also visited Mytilene, the Port of Lesbos, where Bartholomew and Pope Francis gave addresses by the seaside (full text, full video, summary video). Additionally, the three leaders cast laurel wreaths into the sea, in memory of the lives lost in the Mediterranean, observed a span of silence, and then they each said prayers (full text).

Afterwards, there was a departure ceremony at the airport (full video). As well, Pope Francis decided to take in twelve Muslim refugees to fly with him back to Rome to help them (more details, summary video 1, summary video 2). Additionally, here is a really really good interview with one of the families Pope Francis brought back from Lesbos.

Pope Francis welcoming refugee families from Lesbos, Greece to Rome, who he volunteered to aid, April 16th, 2016.
Pope Francis welcoming refugee families from Lesbos, Greece to Rome, who he volunteered to aid, April 16th, 2016.

And on the plane ride back to Rome, Pope Francis sent telegrams of greetings to heads of state of the nations he flew over (full text), and he gave a press conference (full text, summary video 1, summary video 2). Of note, during the press conference he spoke of many things, including his meeting with Bernie Sanders.

Upon returning to Rome, Pope Francis journeyed from Rome’s Ciampino Airport to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to pray, before returning to the Vatican.

As well today, Pope Francis made a bunch of appointments & gave a consent, sent a tweet which honored Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s birthday:

Today is Benedict XVI’s birthday. Let us remember him in our prayers and thank God for giving him to the Church and the world. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution. #lesbos (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Union With Jesus

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis had Mass and gave a homily on God changing the hearts of people (more details, summary video). The president of Equador was also present at the Mass.

Today Pope Francis received in audience a bunch of people (more complete list in Italian), largely prelates, but including:

President of Bolivia, Evo Morales (summary video)
• US presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders (summary video 1, summary video 2)

Pope Francis with God lifts all nations of the Earth socially and economically so that everyone is really really comfortable and well in God’s Kingdom all across the Earth.

In the evening, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray for his journey tomorrow to Lesbos, Greece.

Also today, he made some appointments and gave a consent, sent two tweets:

In the darkest hours of a family’s life, union with Jesus can help avoid a breakup. (link)

Refugees are not numbers, they are people who have faces, names, stories, and need to be treated as such. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

video only (link, video link)

In Pope Francis related news:

Today at the Vatican was a conference on the global economy attended by US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, president of Equador, and president of Bolivia, Evo Morales. Of Bernie Sanders, he spoke at the conference (full text, full video - better picture, full video - better sound, summary video) and spoke with reporters (full video, full video + Q&A), stayed the night at Casa Santa Marta where Pope Francis lives (summary video), and had an audience with him there. He also gave a interview later regarding the encounter (summary video 1, summary video 2). Observing Bernie Sanders, it is clear that he is united with Pope Francis in completing God’s global plans.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Light Which Can Constantly Illuminate

At Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on being docile to the Holy Spirit (more details, summary video).

Today Pope Francis received in audience an array of people (more complete list in Italian), including:

participants of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome (full text, summary video)
ambassador of the Republic of San Marino, Maria Aasai

Additionally, Pope Francis made some appointments, sent a tweet:

Love is the only light which can constantly illuminate a world grown dim. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

We meet Jesus in the most fragile of brothers, from whom we learn that God loves us with simplicity of heart! #Tenderness, #Mercy, #CatholicChurch (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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A Community of the Lord’s Disciples

Today at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis held a General Audience and spoke regarding how God does not judge one’s sinful past so much as a new future with people (full text, full video, summary video). Also at the audience, Pope Francis asked for prayers for his coming journey to Lesbos, Greece, welcomed Polish pilgrims for the 1,050th anniversary of the baptism of their nation, and he met with Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas (summary video).

Also today, the Council of Cardinals finished their meetings today, of which Pope Francis has been a part and there was a press conference (full video).

As well, Pope Francis made some appointments, sent a tweet:

The Lord’s presence dwells in families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

The Church is not a community of the “perfect”, but a community of the Lord’s disciples who recognize they are sinners and need His forgiveness. #Mercy, #CatholicChurch, #Forgiveness (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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The Beauty Of The Faith

At Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on choosing God’s values (more details, summary video).

Of messages, it was reported that Pope Francis sent message to participants in a conference this week in Rome sponsored by Pax Christi International, the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, exploring the theme: Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence (full text).

Moreover, he made an appointment, sent an array of tweets:

The home is the place where we learn to appreciate the beauty of the faith, to pray and serve our neighbor. (link)

It is essential that children see that prayer is something truly important for their parents. (link)

To understand, forgive, accompany and integrate. That is the mindset which should prevail in the Church. (link)

The Church must pattern her behavior after the Son of God who went out to everyone without exception. (link)

The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for ever, it is to pour out the balm of God’s mercy. (link)

and made one post to Instagram:

Old age is a time of grace, in which the Lord renews his call to us! #elderly, #Tenderness, #catholic (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Fidelity Has To Do With Patience

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily on how obeying God’s word as written on one’s heart (summary video).

As well, today Pope Francis resumed meeting through this Wednesday with the Council of Cardinals.

Of messages, he sent letter to Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan and president of the Giuseppe Toniolo Institute of Higher Education, on the occasion of the 92nd National Day of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (full text), sent telegram of condolences regarding a fire at a Hindu temple in Paravour, India (full text), and sent message to Cardinal Peter Turkson and participants of a conference in Rome titled Non-violence and peace: contributing to Catholic understanding and commitment to non-violence (full text).

Further, Pope Francis made some appointments, erected the diocese of Rayagada, India, sent a bunch of tweets:

The divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. They are not excommunicated. (link)

To know how to forgive and feel forgiven is a basic experience in family life. (link)

Fidelity has to do with patience. Its joys and sacrifices bear fruit as the years go by. (link)

Children are a wonderful gift from God and a joy for parents. (link)

The family is where we first learn to listen and share, to be patient and show respect, to help one another. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

May mercy guide our steps, inspire our reforms and enlighten our decisions. #Mercy, #CatholicChurch, #catholic (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Imitate Jesus’ Own Gentleness

Today overlooking St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis gave a Regina Coeli Address regarding the joy of the resurrection (full text, full video, summary video). Also during the address, he prayed for the release of Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian priest kidnaped in Yemen.

He sent message of condolences and prayer regarding a fire in Paravur, India (full text, news link). And by way of Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, he sent letter to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (full text in Italian).

As well, he sent some tweets:

In our families, we must learn to imitate Jesus’ own gentleness. (link)

Love opens our eyes and enables us to see the great worth of a human being. (link)

Each new life allows us to appreciate the utterly gratuitous dimension of love. (link)

It is important for a child to feel wanted. He or she is not an accessory or a solution to some personal need. (link)

Open and caring families find a place for the poor. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

Children are a wonderful gift from God and a joy for parents! #AmorisLaetitia, #Family, #Parents, #catholic (link, video link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Grow in Love, Mutual Aid and Unity

Today at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis held a Jubilee Audience and spoke regarding almsgiving as an act of mercy (full text, full video).

Today Pope Francis received one audience, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Of messages, he sent letter to Cardinal Pietro Parolin in the capacity of as papal legate to celebration of the 1050th anniversary of the “baptism” of Poland to be held from April 14th-16th, 2016, in Gniezno and Poznan, Poland (full text in Latin).

It was announced that he has accepted invitations to visit the countries of Georgia and Azerbaijan later this year (press release).

Also today is a video interview with someone who wrote a book titled Church of Spies (purchase link) on the Vatican during World War II, and it is shared that the author got to meet Pope Francis and share his book with him during a General Audience.

As well, Pope Francis made some appointments, sent a bunch of tweets:

People with disabilities are a gift for the family and an opportunity to grow in love, mutual aid and unity. (link)

No one can think that the weakening of the family will prove beneficial to society as a whole. (link)

The strength of the family lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love. (link)

Our teaching on marriage and the family cannot fail to be inspired by the message of love and tenderness. (link)

Every family, despite its weaknesses, can become a light in the darkness of the world. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

Every family can become a light in the darkness of the world! #AmorisLaetitia, #Family, #Parents, #catholic (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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Amoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love

Today Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation titled Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love (full text as pdf, full text in Italian, official summary, summary video). Pope Francis also accompanied the exhortation with a letter to the bishops (full text). A press conference also occurred today to present the exhortation (full text, full video, summary video). Relatedly, Archbishop Cupich of Chicago also gave a really really good news conference on the exhortation (full video).

Of other note, today in the Redemptoris Mater chapel, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily for the 25th anniversary of the Aletti Centre and the 20th anniversary of its Spiritual Art Workshop (full video).

Pope Francis received several audiences, including participants of The Papal Foundation (full text, summary video). The Papal Foundation group also informed Pope Francis that they would be giving $10 million towards his charitable work around the world.

Of messages, Pope Francis sent message of support for a United Nations conference in New York discussing modern slavery and human trafficking (full text).

As well, he made a some appointments, sent a bunch of tweets to accompany the release of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia:

The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church. (link)

The family is the place where parents become their children’s first teachers in the faith. (link)

The word of God is a source of comfort for every family that experiences difficulty or suffering. (link)

The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world. (link)

The family is a good which society cannot do without, and it ought to be protected. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

The strength of the family lies in its capacity to love and to teach how to love. #AmorisLaetitia, #Family, #Mercy, #catholic (link, video link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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In Whatever Leads To The Kingdom

This morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis celebrated Mass and gave a homily regarding being a Christian witness (more details, summary video).

Today, he received an array of audiences (more complete list in Italian), including:

• His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek Melkites, Syria
a delegation of the World Methodist Council (full text, summary video)
Croatia’s new Prime Minister, Tihomir Orešković, with his consort (press release, summary video)

It was released today that Pope Francis has accepted invitations to visit Lesbos, Greece later this month (press release).

Also today, he made some appointments, sent a tweet:

I encourage you to bear witness to Christ in your personal life and families: a witness of gratuitousness, solidarity, spirit of service. (link)

and posted to Instagram:

God’s love for us is so great, so deep...one which always takes us by the hand and supports us! #tbt, #throwbackthursday, #Mercy, #Tenderness (link)

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day!


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