Pope Francis

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Pope Francis in Korea – Day 2

Today Pope Francis had lots going on. The Holy Spirit is with him.

• Pope Francis took his first trip on high speed rail to travel to Daejeon, South Korea.

• At the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon, he celebrated Mass for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (this is the celebration of Mary falling asleep and being transfigured and taken into heaven), he gave the Homily address. Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik also gave an address to Pope Francis at the World Cup Stadium. After Mass, but before reading the Angelus, he addressed and said a prayer for the victims of the sinking of the Se-Wol ferry. And there’s a YouTube recording of it all, too!

Pope Francis had lunch today with a gathering of youth leaders.

• In the afternoon, Pope Francis visited the Shrine of Solmoe, the birthplace of St. Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest and a martyr. Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-sik gave the welcome address, Pope Francis gave an address, speaking particularly to the young Christians there, and he prayed at the shrine, as well. Also at the shrine, Pope Francis commented on the relations between North and South Korea — a super good message. A YouTube is also available of the visit to the shrine. Watching the video, Pope Francis is so good!!!! I love Pope Francis!

Pope Francis greeting one of the dancers who performed before him at the Shrine of Solmoe in Daejeon, South Korea, on August 15, 2014.
Pope Francis greeting one of the performers at the Shrine of Solmoe in Daejeon, South Korea, August 15, 2014.

And Pope Francis released several tweets:

Mary, Queen of Heaven, help us to transform the world according to God’s plan. (link)

Dear young people, Christ asks you to be wide awake and alert, to see the things in life that really matter. (link)

My heart bleeds especially when I think of the children in Iraq. May Mary, our Mother, protect them. (link)

And in the news, there’s an adorable story of Pope Francis meeting a Korean altar boy and his sister.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day! Mass, lunch, and shrine visit, and tweets.


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Pope Francis Begins his Korean Tour

In the past day now, Pope Francis departed from Rome, arrived in Korea, and did a lot while en route and since his arrival.

As is his custom en route whenever entering the air space of the countries he flies over, he sent telegrams of greetings and blessings to the primary leader of each country – including China, and before boarding the his plane, sent one to the president of Italy, too. Also en route, Pope Francis spoke with the journalists on the plane with him.

Pope Francis arrived in Seoul, South Korea, was greeted by South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye, and other officials, and then went on to have a private mass at the local nunciature (a nunciature is roughly the Holy See’s equivalent to an embassy). And, he is traveling about in an unassuming Kia Soul!

After the mass, he gave an address to a gathering of the South Korean president and other authorities. And here’s a nice summary from his arrival through to his address to dignitaries. After that, he gave an address to a Korean bishops conference and here’s a good summary article. He talks a lot about being guardians of memory — this actually reminds me of the Old Testament tale of the people forgetting about God, and then someone was puttering around doing stuff in the old temple and found some history books, brought them to the leaders then and they ended up reading them and following them again. It was a big deal:

And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word.... — 2 Kings 22:8-9

And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. — 2 Kings 23:1-2

With the old covenant done away with, we are all now under the new covenant shared unto us by Jesus Christ — which really is simply a getting one back to remembering the original love of God from which one cannot be separated.

As John the Baptist said, “God can change these stones into the children of Abraham” (Matt 3:9 NLT). It is not ancestral blood that binds one to God any longer, but God’s love itself and full trusting in that love for salvation and eternal life — and really, for everything else in life, too. With God, Pope Francis is getting people to remember.

And amidst all of this, Pope Francis’ visit appears to be the top story among Korean news outlets.

As well, since his departure from Rome to the Far East, Pope Francis has already sent a number of tweets, and each of them also was sent out in Korean:

May God bless Korea – and in a special way, the elderly and the young people. (link)

Saint John Paul II, pray for us and especially for our youth. (link)

Mary, Queen of Peace, help us to root out hatred and live in harmony. (link)

In Pope Francis related news, on the mission Pope Francis sent him on Cardinal Fernando Filoni just met with persecuted Christians in Erbil, Iraq and provided financial and spiritual aid on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis and the Holy See — on a mission from God.

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


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Pope Francis Departs for Korea

Today Pope Francis, as is usual for him before going on an international journey, visited the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome to pray and leave behind “a small bouquet of flowers” for Mary.

Also before departing for Korea, Pope Francis sent a telegram of comfort, prayer, evocation, and blessing to Pisa, Italy and the surrounding region, on the anniversary of a Nazi atrocity that occurred there.

He also sent a letter today to Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, asking for the assistance of the United Nations in Northern Iraq.

Pope Francis sent several tweets before departure:

As I begin my trip, I ask you to join me in praying for Korea and for all of Asia. (sent in English and Korean)

I thank all those who are courageously helping our brothers and sisters in Iraq. (link)

And after all that, Pope Francis finished packing and departed Rome at 4:16 p.m. today. About 11 1/2 hours later, he’ll arrive in South Korea at 10:30 a.m. local time.

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi extends well wishes to Pope Francis on a clearly windy afternoon as he departs for Korea.
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi extends well wishes to Pope Francis on a clearly windy afternoon as he departs for Korea.

Also in the news, a few days ago, Pope Francis had a live radio interview with an Argentinean radio station in which he encouraged young people to answer God’s call. The text of the interview is so good!!

And that’s the news. Pope Francis is on his way to Korea!!!!


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Pope Franics Packs his Bags for Korea

Pope Francis departs for Korea tomorrow, so I’d imagine that though there is not much in the news today, it’s because today, Pope Francis has to pack for the journey! Quite a few extra Pope Robes and caps, lots of pairs sox, underwear, pajamas, all his grooming supplies (soap, shampoo, shaver, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.), his SeeNotebook from which to send tweets and writes his addresses on, maybe a little printer to print his addresses with, a few Bibles and other few books, etc. — everything he needs for a multi-day trip to Asia! He’s packing his bags today for the trip.

Aside from that, most everything in Pope Francis news today are people responding to everything God and the Pope are doing in the world:

• Many organizations in South Korea have sent Pope Francis a letter urging him to pray for and do whatever else he can to bring religious freedom to North Korea. Also, by reading another article and then another one, about the status of the Roman Catholic church in Korea and the excitement of people there related to his visit, it is evident that God goes before and with Pope Francis bringing unification among Roman Catholics and all people.

Former Argentina soccer star Diego Maradona has accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to attend a charity soccer game in Rome next month, the Interreligious Match for Peace.

• Pope Francis’ personal envoy to Iraq, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, has departed on his mission today to the Middle East region.

And I’d missed this one from a few days ago, but at a special mass for the passing of Pope Francis’ friend Tony Palmer, a special message was delivered from Pope Francis about how Palmer “had left an important legacy for Christian unity.” And out in the blogs, I found one individual’s account of attending the mass.

And that’s the Pope Francis news for the day, he’s packing for the trip and people are responding!


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Phone Call, Messages, and Missions

There’s lots of Pope Francis news today!

Pope Francis spoke yesterday by telephone to the Association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy who had gathered in Pisa for Mass. And here’s a translation of the telephone message.

Also yesterday, Pope Francis sent another tweet!

“An appeal to all families: when you say your prayers, remember all those forced from their homes in Iraq.”

Then, today, ahead of his journey to Korea this week, Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Korea. I also found a translation of it, too. One of my favorite quotes from the message is:

“The Church is a large family in which we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. In his name, I come to you in joy to share with you the Gospel of love and hope.”

The Holy Spirit is with Pope Francis bringing into fruition and harvest an overflowing, delicious harvest unto the LORD!

Pope Francis sent message of consolation and prayers to the families of victims of a plane crash in Iran.

And in the news, in preparation for Cardinal Fernando Filoni leading a papal envoy to Iraq to provide assistance there, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Filoni and provided him with instruction and monies for his mission to the country. Also in another article, Cardinal Filoni spoke in more detail about this mission. The Holy Spirit goes with him on this mission to bring the greatest calm and joy to that region like none other before. To unviolence this world and bring calm and joy unto it is now fully in the hands of God’s anointed: Pope Francis, his Holy See, those in service unto him and his Holy See, and many many other anointed others.

And that is the Pope Francis news for the day!!!!


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Tweets and the Angelus Address

I skipped posting yesterday, since there was wasn’t all that much news, but yesterday and today there is plenty enough.

In the last two days, Pope Francis has been twittering a bunch! Below is the list:

“The news coming from Iraq pains me. Lord, teach us to live in solidarity with all those who suffer.” (link)

“Those driven from their homes in Iraq depend on us. I ask all to pray, and for those who are able, to give material assistance.” (link)

“Violence is not conquered by violence. Lord, send us the gift of peace.” (link)

“I ask the international community to protect all those suffering violence in Iraq.” (link)

“I ask all Catholic parishes and communities to offer a special prayer this weekend for Iraqi Christians.” (link)

“Lord, we pray that you sustain those who have been deprived of everything in Iraq.” (link)

And today, Pope Francis delivered the weekly Angelus address. And those who might want to watch it all, it’s also on YoutTube!

In the address, one of the things Pope Francis says is, “What saves it is not the quality and courage of its men, but the faith, that allows to walk in the darkness, in the midst of difficulties.” Actually, this reminded me a lot of Barbara Brown Taylor’s book Learning to Walk in the Dark. In many instances, faith is like walking into the dark, and simply trusting that God is going to deliver you safely through it all.

Along other lines, I imagine that Pope Francis spent a good part of the day yesterday composing his weekly Angelus address, and while doing so probably simply decided to send out a tweet here and there while writing, just to encourage people to pray and seek for all the conflicts to come to a close.

And I thought of a witty one: perhaps instead of an iPad, Pope Francis has the “SeeNotebook” (like “The Holy See”) from which he composes his addresses, messages to people, and sends his tweets! :)

These might be seen as rough moments for some of planet Earth, but with God with Pope Francis, God shall get the planet through to the realms of rest, calm, and joy — for all. A roof over every head, a comfortable bed for every one to sleep in, a home for every one to live, without any fear of expulsion, delicious food and drink for every one to eat and drink without measure, good and delightful clothes for every one to wear, and so much more wellest good for every one, without measure. In heaven come down, there is only God to thank.


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Envoys Away

Today Pope Francis named Cardinal Fernando Filoni to be his personal envoy to Iraq. Plans are also in motion to send other Holy See representatives into the region to bringing greater stability there.

And today, Pope Francis sent two tweets (first and second):

“Please take a moment today to pray for all those who have been forced from their homes in Iraq.”

“I ask all men and women of goodwill to join me in praying for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations.”

And truly, the word of God says, “Knock, and it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7).

In completely other news, The papal villas have been opened for public tours in accordance with Pope Francis’ desire to share the gardens for the public good. There’s also a neat post of scenes from the gardens, too.


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So Much News, Where Does One Put it All?

Some days, there seems to be soooooo much Pope Francis news, I jokingly ask myself, “How does he do it all in one day!?” Well, when God is with you, there is no burden.

Pope Francis has a new tweet today:

“The Christian is someone who can decrease so that the Lord may increase, in his heart and in the heart of others.”

Yes indeed! Decreasing is about stepping back, and letting or allowing God to do the miracles in our lives and in the lives of others.

Today in the news, the General Audience address given yesterday by Pope Francis was much more fully translated into English. Pope Francis continues to speak God’s word to the world:

“We won’t have titles, credits or privileges to put forward. The Lord will recognize us if, in turn, we recognized him in the poor, the hungry, the indigent and marginalized, in the suffering… This is one of the fundamental criteria to verify our Christian life, against which Jesus invites us to measure ourselves every day.”

As well, Italian Cardinal Francesco Marchisano, “guardian” of early Christian catacombs in Rome and many of the Vatican’s priceless artworks, passed away and Pope Francis sent message of the goodness of this servant of God.

And in the news, Pope Francis expressed that he was very moved that human rights activist Estela de Carlotto has recovered her grandson. “Carlotto asked the pope to open Vatican and Church archives in Argentina documenting the years in question [from during the conflict in which her grandson was abducted by the military in her country], in hopes of tracking [him] down.” And Pope Francis’ answer was “You can count on me.” And now her grandson has been found.

And in the news, Pope Francis sent a message of greeting and welcome to the opening of a reception center for victims of sexual exploitation in Argentina.

Also today, Vatican representative Father Federico Lombardi, met with reporters on behalf of Pope Francis and asked Catholics to pray for the Christians Iraq.

And there are several excellent articles today on Pope Francis’ influence in the church and around the world. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ finance chief at the Vatican gave an interview with the Catholic News Service on Vatican finance reform and Pope Francis’ influence therein. In an interview with Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See Dr. Zion Evrony, and he expressed how influential Pope Francis and other religious leaders have been and are in helping to bring greater peace and stability to the world. And here’s a really really good article on Pope Francis’ influence in Vatican media.

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

To say something: God is not pleased with these acts of war between the Islamic, Christian, and Israeli peoples. Let all wars be silenced, and let all authorities and powers be silenced except God’s. Let the powers and authorities of all governments, militaries, companies, families, peoples, lands, and seas be silenced except for the voices of peace, reconciliation, and all peoples binding themselves together as the family of God. On and in all the earth, let there be no claim of land, nor lands, nor building, nor buildings, nor chattel, nor chattels, only that they all belong to God, and that they are all for the free use of all people in the family of God. Come.

God makes it happen.


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Two Addresses and Two Letters

For those who may not know, most Wednesdays Pope Francis has a “General Audience” with the people, shakes peoples hands, talks to people, blesses and kisses many people, and then delivers a “catechesis” (which is an vocal address). Apparently, though, Pope Francis had taken a break for the summer from doing General Audience addresses, but resumed that today.

Well, he had his General Audience today and you can watch it on YouTube (his entire procession greeting and blessing people & giving his address), and read a summery version of the address in English. The address covered many topics, including the anniversary of the passing of Pope Paul VI and prayers for earthquake victims in China and for the Middle East. Here’s a clip from the English summary:

“In today’s Audience, we resume our catechesis on the Church, the People of God. Prepared for in the Old Testament and established by Christ in the fullness of time, The Church is a new people, founded on a new covenant. The newness brought by Christ does not set aside what went before, but brings things to a completion. In the Scriptures, Saint John the Baptist is a bridge between the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament and their fulfilment in the new. John points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. The new law which Jesus gives in the Sermon on the Mount perfects the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us the way in which, with his grace, we can attain authentic happiness. He tells us, in the Gospel of Matthew, that our Christian life will be judged on how we treat him in the least of our brethren. At the heart of the new covenant is our realization that, in Christ, we are embraced by God’s mercy and compassion, and that our lives must bear witness to his love for all our brothers and sisters.”

Pope Francis knows what’s going on!!!!

Pope Francis also met with German and other European altar servers, a video of the entire encounter is on YouTube, and the full text of his address is also available.

As well in the news today, Pope Francis sent message to a meeting of the First Latin American Congress on the Pastoral Care of the Family, sponsored by Celam. It is a gorgeous letter on the family and it’s importance. The family model itself, is so excellent in that it helps people to translate that understanding to ultimatly being together here as God’s family – as brothers and sisters in Christ.

And, the Knights of Columbus (one of the church’s public-service organizations) are having their annual meeting now in Orlando, Florida, and their meeting this year centers on Pope Francis, and Pope Francis sent a message to the conference, too.

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


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Mercy, a Tweet, Adorableness, and Good Advice

Today, Pope Francis lifted a suspension on a priest, Fr. Miguel d’Escoto. In the 1980s, Fr. d’Escoto had gotten to holding political office, his priestly duties were suspended, but years later now, he wrote a letter to Pope Francis asking to reintegrate into a priestly ministry within the Roman Catholic church, and it was granted. :)

Also today, Pope Francis sent a tweet!

“If you hoard material possessions, they will rob you of your soul.”

Pope Francis knows that God is the provider of all things, hoarding can be comforting to a degree, but relying on the hoarding of stuff to bring you comfort is not really relying on God to be your ultimate comforter. I love Pope Francis!

In other news, I’d missed this one, but it is so completely adorable! Two to three days ago, Pope Francis phone called a convent of Carmelite nuns in Lucena, Spain. Pope Francis has known the prioress of the convent, Sister Adriana for over fifteen years, and he occasionally calls the convent up, just to say hello to the sisters there. Reading the back and forth between the convent and Pope Francis, it is so completely adorable!!!! I love Pope Francis!

And off in the blogs, I found a really good article just published on Pope Francis’ advice to parishes. Super good.

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


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