Pope: Mary and Joseph exemplify mission, vocation of family life

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 05:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke today about Jesus’ choice to be born into a family, saying that it shows the importance of the vocation, which Mary and Joseph epitomized through their everyday holiness. “We can learn so much from Mary and Joseph, and especially from their love for Jesus. They help us to rediscover the vocation and mission of the family, of every family,” the Roman Pontiff told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s … [Read more...]

Debt, illness, discrimination – Syrian refugees struggle in Lebanon

Beirut, Lebanon, Dec 17, 2014 / 02:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After losing their homes and their livelihoods, Syrian refugees in Lebanon are now finding their plight worsened by the financial costs, medical stresses, and prejudices that can accompany living in a foreign land. “You can imagine how a person feels after working 35 years and losing your shop and house, basically losing your future. That’s all gone,” Mariam Hasan Hallak, 66, told CNA Nov. 1 in an interview at a … [Read more...]

An early Christmas present: Pope Francis to meet man serving life sentence

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As inmates are moved by a letter Pope Francis has sent to the prison of a small town in central Italy, the news broke that a man serving a life sentence will be among those at an audience with Pope Francis Dec. 20. The Saturday meeting will be between the Roman Pontiff and members of the Community Pope John XXIII, which was founded by Fr. Oreste Benzi, who died in 2007. Members of the community will be received by Pope Francis on the … [Read more...]

Christ offers healing and peace, Sydney archbishop says after siege

Sydney, Australia, Dec 16, 2014 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the aftermath of a hostage situation at an Australian café, Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher, O.P., stressed that the love of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, can overcome fear and darkness. “We are not used to hearing words like ‘siege,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘hostages’ and ‘security forces’ associated with our city. Yet for the past day and night we were subjected to … [Read more...]

O Holy Night! Most Americans believe in Christmas story

Washington D.C., Dec 16, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- Christmas carols echo reality for most Americans, who believe in the historical accuracy of several Gospel descriptions of the birth of Jesus Christ. The Pew Research Center’s survey, published Dec. 15, found “widespread belief in the Biblical Christmas story.” About 73 percent of all respondents said they believe Jesus Christ was born to a virgin, while 74 percent believe an angel announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds, … [Read more...]

Only a repentant heart will receive salvation, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2014 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis touched on the importance of being humble and open to the Lord's correction, encouraging the faithful to offer him their sins to God in order to be saved. “The humble, poor people that trust in the Lord: these are the ones who are saved and this is the way of the Church, isn’t it?” the Pope asked during his Dec. 16 daily mass in the Vatican's Saint Martha Guesthouse. “This is the path I … [Read more...]

Indian migrants in Holy Land walk to Bethlehem for peace

Bethlehem, West Bank, Dec 16, 2014 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 2,000 Indian migrant workers in the Holy Land took part in a brief pilgrimage from Jerusalem to Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity over the weekend as part of their preparations for Christmas. As they walked the five miles between the cities on Dec. 13, the faithful prayed the rosary for the intention of peace in Palestine and Israel. The pilgrimage is held annually by the Indian Chaplaincy in the Holy … [Read more...]