Rome prepares for Holy Year of Mercy – with ice cream

Rome, Italy, May 7, 2015 / 06:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pilgrims and tourists strolling down the streets of Rome in the coming months may come across an unexpected treat – a special “Jubilee of Mercy Ice Cream,” created in honor of the upcoming Holy Year. Pope Francis has proclaimed the special Holy Year of Mercy, which is to last from Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, to Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King. The special Jubilee ice cream … [Read more...]

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Ahead of Ireland’s marriage referendum, Dublin archbishop looks to Pope Francis

Dublin, Ireland, May 7, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Both Pope Francis’ clear affirmation of marriage as a union of a man and a woman and his efforts to reach out to those who reject this are vital for Christians in the gay marriage debate, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said on Wednesday. “We are all struck by the manner in which Pope Francis seems to be able to speak clearly about doctrine, and yet respect and embrace those who cannot find their way to follow that … [Read more...]

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Vatican recognizes martyrdoms of missionary, lay catechist in communist Laos

Vatican City, May 6, 2015 / 04:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During a private audience on Tuesday, Pope Francis advanced the causes of canonization of 12 potential saints, two of whom were martyred by communist revolutionaries in Laos in 1960. The May 5 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato also formally approved the canonization of Bl. Junipero Serra – which had already been scheduled for Sept. 23. The two martyrs recognized were the Servants of God Mario Borzaga and Paul Thoj Xyooj, who … [Read more...]

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New Swiss Guards swear oath to defend, protect Pope Francis

Vatican City, May 6, 2015 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday 32 new Swiss Guards swore an oath of allegiance to Pope Francis, who told them their role is one of courageously imitating Christ which ought to be rooted in prayer. In an audience with the new guards and their families earlier in the week, Pope Francis said it was an occasion “to nurture a meaningful friendship, because you work so close to me.” The friendship of the Pontifical Swiss Guard is special, he said, … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis to meet with Raul Castro May 10

Vatican City, May 6, 2015 / 12:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will receive Cuban president Raul Castro Sunday morning May 10, in a “strictly private” audience, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi announced. The meeting will take place in the Pope’s studio in the Paul VI Audience Hall. “As we know, President Raul Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for the role he played in the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, and the Pope will be going to … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis on marriage: It’s not about the dress or photos. It’s about the mission.

Vatican City, May 6, 2015 / 10:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Marriage is more than the wedding ceremony, the flowers, the dress, the photos, Pope Francis said in his weekly general audience: it is a participation in the Church's mission. “Men and women, courageous enough to carry this treasure in the 'earthen vessels' of our humanity... are an essential resource for the Church, as well as for the whole world!” Speaking to the crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square … [Read more...]

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‘Drinking with the Saints’ – new book encourages Catholic fellowship, good spirits

Waco, Texas, May 6, 2015 / 04:25 am (CNA).- “I should like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.” While that might not exactly sound like a quote from a Catholic nun, it is actually an excerpt from a poem attributed to St. Brigid of Ireland, who founded several convents in her lifetime. Some people might find the intersection of saints and alcohol surprising, but not Michael Foley, author of the … [Read more...]

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