‘Mary forgave her son’s killers’: The Pope on healing in Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 14, 2015 / 03:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a Marian shine during his three-day trip to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis touched on the country's brutal decades-long civil war and pointed to the Mother of God as the ultimate witness of forgiveness. “In this difficult effort to forgive and find peace, Mary is always here to encourage us, to guide us, to lead us,” the Pope said Jan. 14 at the Our Lady of Madhu shrine in Sri Lanka's Mannar district. “Just … [Read more...]

At papal Mass in Sri Lanka, disabled man seeks ‘big blessing’

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 11:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Among the attendees at the papal Mass in Sri Lanka on Wednesday was Romello Dias, a 20-year-old man who has been suffering major health problems for five years.“I want a big blessing for my son, (so) that he will be okay,” Dias’ father told CNA Jan. 14.Dias started having health problems after he finished ninth grade. Doctors do not know what is wrong with him.Dias’ parents brought their son to the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis’ full homily on Joseph Vaz, Sri Lanka’s first saint

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 10:28 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis on Jan. 14 canonized the 17th century priest Joseph Vaz during Mass at the Galle Face Green in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. St. Joseph Vaz is the first canonized saint from Sri Lanka.The full text of the Pope's homily follows.Homily of the Holy Father"All the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God" (Is 52:10)This is the magnificent prophecy which we heard in today’s first reading. … [Read more...]

Sri Lankan cardinal credits papal trip for post-election peace

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 10:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After tense elections yielded a new president just days before Pope Francis' arrival in Sri Lanka, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said that the “miracle” of a smooth transition is due in large part to the Pope's visit. “Before the elections there was a lot of pressure on the bishops to try and stop the Holy Father, to tell him not to come or to postpone (his visit),” Cardinal Ranjith told CNA Jan. … [Read more...]

Don’t use religion as a weapon of war, Pope Francis insists

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 06:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an oft-repeated message to interreligious groups, Pope Francis stressed again that believers must unite in condemning violence and insist that religion never be used to justify warfare. “For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war,” the Pope told Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian leaders during his Jan. 12-15 trip to Sri Lanka. “We must be … [Read more...]

A warm Sri Lanka welcome – Pope greeted by 40 elephants

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 02:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In all, there were 40 elephants that the Sri Lankan authorities decided to include in Pope Francis’ welcome ceremony upon his first visit to the Asian nation. The elephants came from the Buddhist temples of Colombo, where they were extravagantly dressed up for the occasion and were among the first to greet the Pope when he came out of the open-air Pope Mobile. Elephants have been an important part of the Sri Lankan armory … [Read more...]

Amid schedule delays, Pope cancels meeting with Sri Lanka bishops

Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 13, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis decided to forego a scheduled meeting with the bishops of Sri Lanka Jan. 13 after delays in arriving at the apostolic nunciature in the country. Media representatives on the papal trip told CNA that traveling from the airport to the nunciature took longer than expected. The Holy Father greeted many people along the way, and the trip fell behind schedule. Therefore, the Pope decided to stay at the nunciature and … [Read more...]