Concluding spiritual exercises, Pope calls for renewed focus on Christ

Vatican City, Mar 17, 2014 / 12:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Returning to the Vatican after a week of Lenten spiritual exercises, Pope Francis emphasized that we should not be discouraged by sin, but rather renew our commitment to following Christ. “We are all sinners but we want to follow Jesus,” the Holy Father said upon departing from the annual retreat for the Pope and members of the Curia. The retreat took place outside the Vatican for the first time this year; it was held in … [Read more...]

Christian responsibility means to listen, Pope tells Roman church

Vatican City, Mar 17, 2014 / 09:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his visit to the Roman parish of Our Lady of Oration on Sunday, Pope Francis emphasized the necessity of listening to God, and encouraged attendees to make time every day to read the Bible. “What are the responsibilities of a Christian?” the Pope asked in his March 16 homily. “Maybe you tell me: go to Mass on Sundays, fast and abstain during Holy Week, do this...But the first responsibility of a Christian is … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to meet with families of mafia victims

Vatican City, Mar 17, 2014 / 04:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- This coming Friday Pope Francis is slated to preside over a prayer vigil for victims of mafia violence and their families, which takes place the night before the national day commemorating the lives lost. “For the families of innocent victims, this meeting with the Pope is a gift,” Fr. Luigi Ciotti expressed in a March 15 article on Vatican Radio. “The availability of the Pope to accompany these family members in … [Read more...]

Let the word of God grow in your heart, encourages Pope

Vatican City, Mar 16, 2014 / 08:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the scene of the Transfiguration, emphasizing the importance of listening to God, especially in scripture, and of sharing the Gospel with others. “And this is curious. When we hear the Word of God, listen to the Word of God and have it in our heart, that Word grows. And do you know how it grows? Giving it to others!” the Pope exclaimed in his March 16 Angelus … [Read more...]

Up to 5 million may go to Rome for Papal canonizations

Vatican City, Mar 15, 2014 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As many as 5 million people could travel to Rome for the April 27 canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, and are expected to arrive beginning on Good Friday, April 18. Rome will be a hot spot for tourism also because on April 25 Italy celebrates its liberation from fascism, and is national holiday. Many Italians will take advantage of the day off to spend the weekend in Rome, so pilgrims and tourists will be mixing during these … [Read more...]

‘I need the people of God to sustain me,’ Pope says in interview

Vatican City, Mar 15, 2014 / 04:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During a recent radio interview given to a station in a slum of Argentina, Pope Francis explained his frequent request for prayers, and praised the work of the many priests who minister among the poor. When asked why he so frequently requests prayer from those he encounters, the Pope simply stated that “I need it. I need the people of God to sustain me.” The interview was given to Argentinian radio station Bajo Flores, … [Read more...]

Pope’s exercises highlight danger of worldly temptations

Vatican City, Mar 14, 2014 / 06:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During Pope Francis’ spiritual exercises, Msgr. Angelo De Donatis focused his meditations on the Grace of God, warning against worldly attitudes, and emphasizing the importance of being open to God’s love. Msgr. De Donatis oversees a parish in the center of Rome, and was in charge of preaching during the Lenten retreat for Pope Francis and members of the Curia, who have been in the hillside town of Ariccia for their March 9 … [Read more...]