Japan’s history of ‘hidden’ Christians and what the Pope said about it

Vatican City, Mar 23, 2015 / 03:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent meeting with Japan's bishops, Pope Francis discussed how the country's brutal history of Christian persecution has given way to the survival of a small but fervent Catholic community today. In 2015, less than one percent of Japan's population of 127 million people identify as Christian. Pope Francis called the group of faithful who remained after the expulsion of priests and missionaries in the 16th century the … [Read more...]

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Rome’s poor receive 1,000 pounds of food from Pope Francis

Vatican City, Mar 23, 2015 / 12:17 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis is sending half a ton of food to families suffering hardships in Rome’s Tor Bella Monaca neighborhood. The food is being distributed through the Institute of Medicine Solidarity Onlus, which works to help the socially disadvantaged, reported AICA, a Catholic news publication in Argentina. Lucia Ercoli, the association’s director, said it was “truly a surprise” when they received the phone call about the food … [Read more...]

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Got plans for Holy Week? Pope Francis does

Vatican City, Mar 22, 2015 / 04:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' full slate of events for Holy Week includes plans for a traditional Stations of the Cross, Easter Masses and a universal blessing given on Easter Day. The Vatican’s office for liturgical celebrations, headed by Archbishop Guido Marini, issued on March 20 the complete schedule of papal events for this year’s Holy Week. The week preceding Easter begins with Palm Sunday, which recalls how the inhabitants of … [Read more...]

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Pope invites Rome’s homeless to distribute Gospels at Sunday angelus

Vatican City, Mar 22, 2015 / 10:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Sunday invited members of Rome's homeless community to join volunteers in handing out copies of the Gospel to pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square, a reminder of how God's Word is found among the poorest of society. “Even in this we see a very beautiful gesture, which pleases Jesus,” the Pope said, moments after leading the crowds in the recitation of the Angelus on March 22: “those most in need … [Read more...]

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Saint’s relic with miraculous tendencies does it again for Pope Francis

Rome, Italy, Mar 21, 2015 / 01:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While Pope Francis was giving some advice to the religious, priests and seminarians of Naples on Saturday, a miracle occurred: a vial of dried blood from a fourth century saint liquefied. This stunning but locally known and accepted phenomenon is said to happen three times a year: May 1, Sept. 19, which is the saint's feast day, and Dec. 16. The last time this occured with a Pope was in 1848 with Pius IX. It didn't happen when … [Read more...]

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Nuns watching soap operas and the ‘terrorism’ of gossip: Pope Francis and Naples’ religious

Rome, Italy, Mar 21, 2015 / 12:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a wide-ranging, off-the-cuff speech to priests and religious in Naples, Pope Francis addressed various challenges of consecrated life, emphasizing above all the importance of poverty and resisting gossip. “For me there is a sign that there is no fraternity in the presbyterate or in religious communities. The sign is gossip…the terrorism of gossip,” the Pope told priests, religious and seminarians of Naples during his … [Read more...]

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Prison bars aren’t stronger than God’s love, Pope says to inmates

Rome, Italy, Mar 21, 2015 / 08:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his one-day trip to Naples, Pope Francis made a stop at the local prison where he reminded inmates that God is rich in mercy and that nothing – even incarceration – can keep them from his love. After spending the morning on March 21 celebrating Mass and issuing tough words on the city's notorious struggle with corruption, Pope Francis in the afternoon visited the “Giuseppe Salvia” prison of … [Read more...]

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