Pope Francis announces pilgrimage to Holy Land

Vatican City, Jan 5, 2014 / 09:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has announced that he will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this coming May to mark a key moment in Catholic and Orthodox Christian relations. “In this atmosphere of joy, typical of this Christmas time, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 (of) next May, God willing, I will carry out a pilgrimage in the Holy Land,” he said after the Jan. 5 Sunday Angelus to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. Pope … [Read more...]

Pope: Christmas reveals God’s ‘immense love’

Vatican City, Jan 5, 2014 / 09:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis delivered his Sunday Angelus greeting to a packed St. Peter’s Square today, emphasizing the greatness of divine love revealed in God becoming man. “The birth of Jesus shows us that God wanted to unite himself to every man and every woman, to each one of us, to communicate to us his life and his joy,” Pope Francis said Jan. 5. “Thus Christmas reveals the immense love of God for humanity. From that … [Read more...]

Pope encourages reform of relations between religious, bishops

Vatican City, Jan 4, 2014 / 01:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At a meeting with religious superiors held last November, Pope Francis urged a reform of the document regulating the relationship between bishops and religious congregations, according to Fr. Antonio Spadaro, director of La Civiltà Cattolica. The Bishop of Rome met with a group of some 120 religious superiors in Rome on Nov. 29, 2013, during the general assembly of the Union of Superiors General. He held a three-hour question and … [Read more...]

Faith desires to ‘change the world,’ Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Jan 3, 2014 / 10:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis celebrated Mass Jan. 3 in thanksgiving for the Jesuit saint Peter Faber, praising his “lofty desires” to be centered in God and to evangelize at the “peripheries.” “An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world,” Pope Francis said in his homily at the Church of the Gesu in Rome. “And this is the question we should pose ourselves: do we too have great visions … [Read more...]

Six million people attended Pope Francis’ Vatican events in 2013

Vatican City, Jan 2, 2014 / 03:16 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 6.6 million people have taken part in events with Pope Francis at the Vatican since his election to the papacy, the Prefecture of the Papal Household has estimated. In the nine months since Pope Francis’ March 13 election, more than 2.7 million people have attended the Pope’s Angelus and Regina Coeli prayers. About 2.3 million have attended liturgical celebrations in St. Peter’s Basilica and at St. … [Read more...]

We share in Mary’s ‘journey of faith,’ says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 1, 2014 / 05:12 am (CNA).- Pope Francis’ homily for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God emphasized Mary's path of faith and hope as an example for all Christians.“The message of hope contained in this (God’s) blessing was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature,” he said on Jan. 1 to the congregation gathered for mass in St. Peter’s … [Read more...]

Pope: ‘Quality of life in Rome depends on all of us’

Vatican City, Dec 31, 2013 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- In his homily during evening prayer on New Year’s Eve, Pope Francis focused on the theme of time well spent, urging the citizens of Rome to better their city in the upcoming year. “It is the last day of the year. What will we do, how will we act next year, to make our city a little better?” he questioned the congregation gathered in St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 31 in anticipation of the solemnity of Mary, Mother of … [Read more...]