Blessing of lambs a 500 year old tradition, priest reveals

Vatican City, Jan 22, 2014 / 03:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Shortly before the blessing of the lambs yesterday in honor of the feast of St. Agnes, the parish priest of the basilica honoring the martyr explained that the tradition has been around since the 16th century. “Here in (in the basilica of) St. Agnes, we have known this tradition for 500 years,” Fr. Franco Bergamin explained to CNA in a Jan. 21 interview shortly before the Mass of the blessing took place. The priest … [Read more...]

Pope receives, blesses lambs ahead of pallium ceremony

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis marked the Feast of St. Agnes Jan. 21 by receiving and blessing the lambs whose wool is used to weave pallia for new archbishops. The lambs had been raised by the nuns of the Roman convent of San Lorenzo in Panisperna, and the Canons Regular of the Basilica of St. John Lateran presented the lambs to the Pope at his residence Casa Santa Martha. The pallium is a liturgical vestment the Pope and metropolitan archbishops wear … [Read more...]

God always chooses the ‘little ones,’ Pope Francis reflects

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 01:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass, Pope Francis noted how God seeks to have a personal relationship with each of us, emphasizing that he favors those who are humble and small because he is able to dialogue with them. “There is a relationship between God and us little ones: God, when he must choose people, even his own people, he always chooses the little ones,” the Pope said during his Jan. 21 homily. Addressing those who were present in … [Read more...]

Vatican seeks to cut cost of canonizations

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 12:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an effort to relieve inequalities among the causes of potential saints, steps are being taken to reduce the costs associated with the canonization process, according to a Vatican official. According to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has said the cost-reduction is in response to a Holy See request to standardize and provide more public … [Read more...]

President Obama’s March visit confirmed by Vatican

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 09:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed that in March of this year President Barack Obama during a European trip will stop in Rome where he is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis. As the final part of President Obama's visit to Europe – during which he will travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy – the Pope and the president will meet on March 27, Fr. Lombardi told CNA Jan. 21. In a statement … [Read more...]

Ukrainian archbishop calls for peace amid violent protests

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 05:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of increasing violence due to ongoing political protests, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk is petitioning his countrymen to pray for peace and unity as political unrest continues. “With great dismay and sadness we witness the events taking place at the moment in Kyiv,” the archbishop lamented in a Jan. 21 statement released on Vatican Radio. “In view of these exceptional circumstances,” he … [Read more...]

Vatican commission completes Medjugorje investigation

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2014 / 03:28 pm (CNA).- The Holy See has announced that the commission charged with investigating the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje has completed its task, and will be submitting its findings to the Vatican's doctrine office. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed Jan. 18 that the international commission investigating the supposed apparitions had held its final meeting the prior day, and will submit its final report to the Congregation for the … [Read more...]