How a shoeshiner-turned-journalist touched the heart of Pope Francis

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 02:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During the Feb. 12 papal flight to Mexico, Pope Francis received an unprecedented gesture of affection from a Mexican journalist: a shoe shining, accompanied by a story from the journalist&… Read more

Pope Francis to Mexican bishops: follow example of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 11:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with the bishops of Mexico on Saturday at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, where he highlighted the intercessory power of Our Lady of Guadalupe and enc… Read more

Pope Francis to Mexican bishops: follow example of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 11:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with the bishops of Mexico on Saturday at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, where he highlighted the intercessory power of Our Lady of Guadalupe and enc… Read more

[LIVE] Papal visit to Mexico: Meeting with the Bishops of Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 10:00 am (CNA).- Watch LIVE footage of Pope Francis’ address to the Bishops of Mexico at the Cathedral in Mexico City at 12:30pm EST. Read more

Pope to Mexican leaders: Remember your young people

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 09:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis marked his first full day in Mexico by urging the nation’s leaders and diplomats to protect the future of the nation’s young people. “A people with a youthful population is a people able to renew and transform itself; it is an invitation to look to the future with hope and, in turn, it challenges us in a positive way here and now,” the Pope said Saturday.   Young people make up more than half the nation’s population, the pontiff observed, emphasizing the responsibility to forge a future through the work of men and women today “who are upright, honest, and capable of working for the common good.” “Experience teaches us that each time we seek the path of privileges or benefits for a few to the detriment of the good of all, sooner or later the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence and also human trafficking, kidnapping and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development.” The Feb. 13 meeting at the National Palace with Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto, the country’s diplomatic corps, and civil and social authorities, was the first event of the Pope’s second day in Mexico. Pope Francis’ Feb. 12-17 trip to Mexico is his first as pontiff. He is the third Pope to visit the nation: St. John Paul II visited Mexico five times over the course of his 27 year pontificate, and Benedict XVI in 2012. During his address, Pope Francis reminded the authorities that his visit to Mexico is “as a missionary of mercy and of peace,” and as a “son who wishes to pay homage to his mother, the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, and place himself under her watchful care.” The Pope paid his respects to the Mexican people, and the “land which is so rich in culture, history, and diversity.” A nation “with abundant natural resources and with an enormous biodiversity,” Mexico’s geographical location and indigenous multiculturalism fosters an “ancestral wisdom” one of the country’s “greatest biographical resources,” the Pope said. “It is an identity that learned gradually how to shape itself amid diversity and that now constitutes, without any doubt, a rich patrimony to be valued, encouraged and protected.” Throughout its history, the Mexican people overcame challenges brought about by the “obstinacy of individualism” by recognizing the need for “political, social and financial institutions” to be in agreement with “all men and women committed to the common good and the promotion of the dignity of the human person.” Pope Francis presented Mexico’s “ancestral culture” and “human resources” role in promoting “new forms of dialogue, negotiation, and bridges” toward “committed solidarity.” Beginning with Christians, this commitment aims at the “construction of a ‘political life on a truly human basis,’” the Pope said – citing the Vatican II document Gaudium et spes – “and a society in which no one feels a victim of the culture of waste.” Pope Francis emphasized the role of “social, cultural and political” leaders in helping their citizens have access to essential goods: “adequate housing, dignified employment, food, true justice, effective security, a healthy and peaceful environment.” “This is not just a question of laws which need to be updated and improved – something always necessary – but rather a need for urgent formation of the personal responsibility of each individual, with full respect for others as men and women jointly responsible in promoting the advancement of the nation.” The Pope assured the president that the Mexican government “can count on the cooperation of the Catholic Church, which has accompanied the life of this nation and which renews its commitment and willingness to serve the great causes of mankind: the building of the civilization of love.” Pope Francis concluded his address, reiterating that he has come to Mexico “as a missionary and as a pilgrim,” and has entrusted himself to Our Lady of Guadalupe during his visit.   Read more

[LIVE] Papal visit to Mexico: Meeting with authorities, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 08:45 am (CNA).- Watch LIVE footage of Pope Francis’ address to “authorities, prepresentatives of civil society and the diplomatic corps” in Mexico City at 11:15am Eastern. Read more

Pope Francis has a new book for kids

Vatican City, Feb 13, 2016 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Already in his brief, three-year pontificate Pope Francis has a track record of papal firsts, but in March he will add yet another to his list: authoring a children’s book. “This book could be useful to the entire family. The questions are deep, fresh, sharp – involving desires of understanding, but also tough feelings and experiences to be faced and lived,” Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ told CNA Feb. 9. “Ultimately I hope people see that the Pope’s message is universal. Whether his responses are read by children or adults, I hope that his focus on peace, joy, and mercy is understood and felt by all.” On March 1 Jesuit-run Loyola Press will release the book “Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World,” alongside Jesuit publishing houses in 11 other countries. A collection of 30 letters and drawings from children around the world aged 6-13, the book contains both head-scratching questions from the youth, as well as Pope Francis’ answers. “This book is the very first book by a Pope for children ever,” Fr. Spadaro said, explaining that it’s not just a collection of things he said before in other settings, but is “something original, thought (of) as a book with answers to questions, but also drawings.” Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, has worked on the book alongside Loyola Press in Chicago, who conceived the idea. Pope Francis gave the project the official thumbs-up last May, when executives from Loyola Press traveled to Rome to pop the question on whether he would ever consider writing a children’s book. “What really struck me is that when I asked Pope Francis about this project he immediately said yes,” Fr. Spadaro said. Once the Pope agreed to participate, things got going, he said. Loyola Press immediately reached out to both priests and lay people around the world in order to put the publisher in contact with children who would write the letters. The 259 letters that arrived to the Vatican came from across the globe, including countries such as Albania, China, Nigeria, the Philippines and a school for displaced children in Syria. Fr. Spadaro affirmed that the responses given “are the Pope’s words,” and noted that at one point, before his trip to the United States last September, Francis was reading the children’s’ questions, and admitted that “these are tough.” He recalled that afterward, during the prayer vigil for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Pope had said: “A young person once asked me – you know how young people ask hard questions! – ‘Father, what did God do before he created the world?’ Believe me, I had a hard time answering that one.” When Pope Francis told the story, “he was referring to the experience of this book,” Fr. Spadaro explained. “This is true. He realized that he wanted to give the kids a deeper answer than something right off the top of his head.” Due to the Pope’s time constraints, he didn’t have time to respond to all 259 letters, but was advised on which ones to select with the help of a special group of parents, grandparents, teachers, Jesuits, writers and children. As the Pope read the letters, Fr. Spadaro said that Francis paid special attention to the drawings the children had made. “He commented to me (on the) details, colors (and) shapes,” the priest said, adding that “sometimes Francis captured, with finesse, the meaning of a question more from images than from words.” When the book is published March 1, it will be released in 14 languages, including English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian and French, though Fr. Spadaro said he expects the number to grow. On Feb. 22, eight children whose letters appear in the book, plus a few siblings, will meet with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican. They will present him with the finished book, as well as all 259 letters collected for the project. Read more

Pope Francis has a new book for kids

Vatican City, Feb 13, 2016 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Already in his brief, three-year pontificate Pope Francis has a track record of papal firsts, but in March he will add yet another to his list: authoring a children’s book. “This book could be useful to the entire family. The questions are deep, fresh, sharp – involving desires of understanding, but also tough feelings and experiences to be faced and lived,” Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ told CNA Feb. 9. “Ultimately I hope people see that the Pope’s message is universal. Whether his responses are read by children or adults, I hope that his focus on peace, joy, and mercy is understood and felt by all.” On March 1 Jesuit-run Loyola Press will release the book “Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World,” alongside Jesuit publishing houses in 11 other countries. A collection of 30 letters and drawings from children around the world aged 6-13, the book contains both head-scratching questions from the youth, as well as Pope Francis’ answers. “This book is the very first book by a Pope for children ever,” Fr. Spadaro said, explaining that it’s not just a collection of things he said before in other settings, but is “something original, thought (of) as a book with answers to questions, but also drawings.” Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, has worked on the book alongside Loyola Press in Chicago, who conceived the idea. Pope Francis gave the project the official thumbs-up last May, when executives from Loyola Press traveled to Rome to pop the question on whether he would ever consider writing a children’s book. “What really struck me is that when I asked Pope Francis about this project he immediately said yes,” Fr. Spadaro said. Once the Pope agreed to participate, things got going, he said. Loyola Press immediately reached out to both priests and lay people around the world in order to put the publisher in contact with children who would write the letters. The 259 letters that arrived to the Vatican came from across the globe, including countries such as Albania, China, Nigeria, the Philippines and a school for displaced children in Syria. Fr. Spadaro affirmed that the responses given “are the Pope’s words,” and noted that at one point, before his trip to the United States last September, Francis was reading the children’s’ questions, and admitted that “these are tough.” He recalled that afterward, during the prayer vigil for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Pope had said: “A young person once asked me – you know how young people ask hard questions! – ‘Father, what did God do before he created the world?’ Believe me, I had a hard time answering that one.” When Pope Francis told the story, “he was referring to the experience of this book,” Fr. Spadaro explained. “This is true. He realized that he wanted to give the kids a deeper answer than something right off the top of his head.” Due to the Pope’s time constraints, he didn’t have time to respond to all 259 letters, but was advised on which ones to select with the help of a special group of parents, grandparents, teachers, Jesuits, writers and children. As the Pope read the letters, Fr. Spadaro said that Francis paid special attention to the drawings the children had made. “He commented to me (on the) details, colors (and) shapes,” the priest said, adding that “sometimes Francis captured, with finesse, the meaning of a question more from images than from words.” When the book is published March 1, it will be released in 14 languages, including English, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Hungarian and French, though Fr. Spadaro said he expects the number to grow. On Feb. 22, eight children whose letters appear in the book, plus a few siblings, will meet with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican. They will present him with the finished book, as well as all 259 letters collected for the project. Read more

Twitter is preparing for the Pope’s visit to Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 13, 2016 / 02:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The social network Twitter is prepared for Pope Francis’ historic trip to Mexico, with special emojis emblematic of each city the pontiff will visit.   During his Feb. 12-17 trip to the country, Pope Francis will visit Mexico City, Ecatepec, Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal de las Casas, Morelia and Ciudad Juarez. Some 87 percent of the Mexico’s 110 million inhabitants are Catholic.   The official Twitter blog confirmed that each site the Pope visits will have its own emoji, which will automatically be seen by all those who tweet with the predominant hashtag of each.   The hashtag #PapaenMex activates an icon of the Pope’s face with Flag of Mexico as the background, while #PapaenCDmx reveals the “Angel of Independence” characteristic of Mexico City. The hashtag #PapaenCHPS shows an emoji of the Cathedral of San Marcos, located in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, while #PapaenMich shows the Cathedral of Morelia, in Michoacan. And #PapaenCDJ activates an icon of the Cathedral of Ciudad Juarez, dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe.   Pope Francis is an active user of Twitter, with more than 11 million followers on his Spanish account alone, and more than 26 million combined on his nine different language accounts.   The Mexican Bishops’ Conference has also opened an official account of the Pope’s visit to Mexico, @ConElPapa. CNA will have a team of reporters providing live coverage of the papal trip. You can follow them on Twitter: Alan Holdren (@AlanHoldren), Eduardo Berdejo (@Eberdejor) and David Ramos (@YoDash). Read more

How millions of keys in Mexico are being used to honor Pope Francis

Mexico City, Mexico, Feb 12, 2016 / 06:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A well-known Mexican artist is collecting millions of keys for an unusual reason. He will use the keys to create a 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Pope Francis. The statue’s design sh… Read more




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