No such thing as gloomy-faced saints, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Dec 14, 2014 / 08:43 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christian joy is borne out of nearness to Christ, said Pope Francis during his Angelus address for the third Sunday of Advent, adding that “gloomy-faced” saints are a contradiction. “You have never heard of a sad or gloomy-faced saint,” the Holy Father said. “That would be a contradiction.” Rather, the heart of a Christian is “full of peace, because he knows to place his joy in the Lord, even in … [Read more...]

St. Lucy an example of courage for all who face disabilities, Pope says

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2014 / 09:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an audience with people who are blind and visually impaired Pope Francis said that St. Lucy’s courage in facing martyrdom can teach them to live their disability without fear or isolation. “Lucy suggests to us a value which for me seems very important also for you: courage,” the Pope told members of the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired on Dec. 13. “She was a young woman, helpless, but … [Read more...]

Knights donate $2 million to papal charities, Middle East relief

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2014 / 09:13 am (CNA).- The Knights of Columbus have donated $1.6 million to the Pope’s personal charities, and are giving an additional $400,000 to assist the Holy See’s relief efforts in the Middle East. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson informed Pope Francis of the donations during a Dec. 12 private audience with the pontiff, which is the third that has been granted him since Francis’ election in March, 2013. The donations to the papal charities come … [Read more...]

Pope pleads with Middle East churches to address crisis together

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2014 / 04:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis addressed the increasing challenges caused by violence in the Middle East with members of the Syriac Catholic Church, urging them to work alongside other churches to find solutions. “Many have fled to seek shelter from an inhumanity that throws entire populations out into the streets, leaving them without any means of survival,” the Pope observed in his Dec. 12 address. Together with other churches, he said, … [Read more...]

Our Lady of Guadalupe, the great missionary who protects her people

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2014 / 01:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis praised Our Lady of Guadalupe on Friday as “a great missionary” who brought the faith to Latin America, as he called on Christians to see her prayers as an introduction to the Beatitudes and to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “Through her intercession, the Christian faith has become the richest treasure of the soul of the Latin American people, whose precious pearl is Jesus Christ: a heritage which is … [Read more...]

Francis lauds Nobel Peace laureates, declines to meet with Dalai Lama

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2014 / 12:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the reception of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize by two south Asians this week, Pope Francis has praised Nobel laureates' efforts for peace but chose not to meet with the Dalai Lama, who won the prize in 1989. The Pope likely declined to meet with Tenzin Gyatso, who is the 14th Dalai Lama, so as not to complicate the Vatican's relations with the People's Republic of China. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican … [Read more...]

Sister Cristina gives Pope Francis a copy of her music album

Vatican City, Dec 12, 2014 / 02:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Sister Cristina Scuccia, the Ursuline religious who won The Voice Italy earlier this year, greeted Pope Francis on Wednesday and gave him a copy of her new album, "Sister Cristina." The encounter took place at the conclusion of the Holy Father's General Audience in St. Peter's Square on Dec. 10. Interviewed by DPA in November, the 26 year-old nun had said she hoped to meet Francis and give him "the first … [Read more...]