Patriarch urges prayer after at least 90 Christians kidnapped in Syria

Rome, Italy, Feb 24, 2015 / 06:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With reports circulating saying that ISIS forces have kidnapped at least 90 Christians from villages in northeast Syria, Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said prayer is the only possible response. “Let’s pray for those innocent people,” Patriarch Younan told CNA over the phone from Beirut Feb. 24. “It’s a very, let’s say, very ordinary thing to have those people with such hatred toward … [Read more...]

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Swiss Guard: We are ready to defend Pope from ISIS

Vatican City, Feb 24, 2015 / 02:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard says the group of soldiers charged with protecting the Pope is on high alert and ready to act if any threat from ISIS materializes. “We are ready to intervene. Our job is security. and as gendarmes we are well organized. We are ready if anything happens,” said Cristoph Graf. At age 54, Graf is married with two children. Yet he and the other members of the Swiss Guard are willing … [Read more...]

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A brief history of spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia

Vatican City, Feb 24, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- By gathering the members of the Roman Curia for Lenten spiritual exercises this week, Pope Francis is participating in a tradition that stretches back more than 80 years, to the pontificate of Pius XI. The Roman Curia are on retreat Feb. 22-27 on the theme “Servants and prophets of the living God,” preached by Fr. Bruno Secondin, a Carmelite. The spiritual exercises will focus on Elijah and the Church's prophetic role, … [Read more...]

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Mystic, monk and poet – meet the newest Doctor of the Church

Vatican City, Feb 23, 2015 / 04:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- St. Gregory of Narek – a tenth century priest, monk, mystic, and poet beloved among Armenian Christians – has become the first Armenian to be named a Doctor of the Church. “It is a great honor for the Armenian Church to contribute to this very important rank of saints who have enriched the Catholic Church with their teachings,” Armenian Catholic priest Father Thomas Garabedian told CNA Feb. 23. “Certainly … [Read more...]

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Pope and Curia begin annual Lenten retreat

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 01:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis and members of the Curia set out from Rome on Sunday afternoon to begin their annual Lenten retreat. This year's spiritual exercises will run from Feb. 22-27 on the theme: “Servants and prophets of the living God,” according to the Jan. 30 announcement in L'Osservatore Romano. The retreat will be guided by Fr. Bruno Secondin, Carmelite, who will focus on the prophet Elijah and the prophetic role of the … [Read more...]

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To follow Christ, we must confront life’s deserts, Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The 40 days of Lent are a reminder that we face spiritual deserts, and we must confront them with courage and the aid of Scripture, Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus address. Delivering the Feb. 22 address from the papal apartments to a sizable crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope's remarks came on the first Sunday of Lent, hours before he embarked on a week-long Spiritual Exercises retreat with members of … [Read more...]

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To follow Christ, we must confront life’s deserts, Pope says

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2015 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The 40 days of Lent are a reminder that we face spiritual deserts, and we must confront them with courage and the aid of Scripture, Pope Francis said during his weekly Angelus address. Delivering the Feb. 22 address from the papal apartments to a sizable crowd gathered in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope's remarks came on the first Sunday of Lent, hours before he embarked on a week-long Spiritual Exercises retreat with members of … [Read more...]

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