A sweet sign of hope: Pope’s envoy returns to Iraq with Easter cake

Vatican City, Mar 29, 2015 / 06:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' personal envoy to Iraq will return to the country during Holy Week, bringing with him the pontiff's love and solidarity along with a special gift from the diocese of Rome: cake.   “During Holy Week, which is now close, these families are sharing with Christ the unjust violence of which they are victims, and participating in the pain of the same Christ,” a March 27 statement from the Vatican … [Read more...]

Holy Week is about humility – there is no other way, Pope says

Rome, Italy, Mar 29, 2015 / 05:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Palm Sunday said that imitating the humility of Jesus is what makes Holy Week “holy,” and encouraged attendees to mimic his attitude of humiliation as the week unfolds. Referring to the day’s second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, which recounts how Jesus “humbled himself” by taking on human form, the Pope said that “these words show us God’s way and … [Read more...]

500 years after birth, witness of St. Teresa of Avila remains strong, says Pope

Vatican City, Mar 28, 2015 / 01:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On the 500th anniversary of St. Teresa of Avila's birth, Pope Francis praised the Spanish mystic and reformer for her witness of self-gift to God, as well as her particular relevance during this Year of Consecrated Life. “How much goodness does the testimony of her consecration – born directly from the encounter with Christ, her experience of prayer as continuous dialogue with God, and her community life, rooted in the … [Read more...]

Pope praises deceased Assyrian patriarch as wise pastor, ecumenical leader

Vatican City, Mar 28, 2015 / 11:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolences following the death of Catholicos Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, describing him as an “important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor.” The patriarch passed away on Mar. 26 in Rochester, Minnesota at the age of 79. Addressing the telegram to Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of the Assyrian Church of the East for India, Pope Francis assured him, as … [Read more...]

Pope expected to visit Italian cities of Florence, Prato in November

Vatican City, Mar 27, 2015 / 03:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An informal announcement was made on Friday at the close of the Italian bishops conference's spring meeting in Rome revealing that Pope Francis will visit the two Tuscan cities Nov. 10. “We welcome the news that the Holy Father will be in Prato with great joy,” Bishop Franco Agostinelli of Prato said March 27. The bishop explained that “our whole diocese is celebrating this event, which will mark our history: … [Read more...]

‘This is your house’ – Pope Francis meets homeless in Sistine Chapel

Vatican City, Mar 27, 2015 / 11:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis stopped by to visit with 150 of Rome’s homeless in the Sistine Chapel after they were invited for dinner and a private tour by the Vatican. “Welcome. This is everyone's house, and your house. The doors are always open for all,” the Pope told his homeless guests during their March 26 visit to the Vatican Museums. He said that their visit was like a tender caress from God. The group was invited by … [Read more...]

Pope Francis meets relatives of aid workers murdered by Islamic State

Vatican City, Mar 27, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The brother and widow of two British aid workers killed by Islamic State militants last autumn were among the participants in yesterday’s General Audience, during which they briefly met with Pope Francis and received his blessing. “Pope Francis has called for a common commitment to end fighting, hatred and violence. Mike Haines is living that commitment in an extraordinary way,” Nigel Baker, the British ambassador to … [Read more...]