Stay in touch
Get the latest news from the Holy See Mission:
(Vatican Radio) As a concrete sign of his closeness to the victims of Italy’s earthquake, Pope Francis has sent a team of six firefighters and six Gendarmerie from the Vatican City State to Amatrice, the city in central Italy worst affected by the quake.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office said the six firefighters and Gendarmerie would help Italy’s Civil Protection workers search for survivors still under the rubble and assist those already rescued.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday during his general audience greeted the participants the General Assembly of the World Conference of Secular Institutes.
A Secular Institutes is an “institute of consecrated life in which the Christian faithful living in the world strive for the perfection of charity and work for the sanctification of the world especially from within.” [CIC 710]
The General Assembly of the World Conference of Secular Institutes takes place every four years, and brings together the Presidents General of the member secular institutes, as well as the Presidents of national and international conferences of secular institutes.
Pope Francis said he “wishes this Jubilee of Mercy…is a time of grace and spiritual renewal.”
Among the participants at the General Assembly was Lily Fernandes from India who is a member of the Secular Institute, the Maids of the Poor. She told Susy Hodges that among the topics discussed at their gathering was the need for better formation and to make better known the identity of Secular Institutes, both within the Church and the wider world.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday once again appealed for peace in Ukraine, urging all parties in the conflict, as well as international bodies, to “strengthen the initiatives to resolve the conflict, release the hostages, and respond to the humanitarian emergency.”
The Holy Father assured Ukrainians of his continued prayers for peace.
The appeal comes on Ukraine’s Independence Day, this year marking the 25th anniversary of independence from the former Soviet Union.
The full text of the Pope’s appeal for Ukraine.
“In these last weeks, the international Observers have expressed concern for the worsening situation in eastern Ukraine. Today, as that dear Nation celebrates its national holiday – which this year coincides with the 25th anniversary of independence – I assure them of my prayer for peace and I renew my appeal to all the parties involved and to the international bodies that they might strengthen the initiatives to resolve the conflict, release the hostages, and respond to the humanitarian emergency.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday made a special greeting during his General Audience to the members of the International Paralympic Committee and the athletes who are preparing to participate in the next Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which will take place from 7-18 September.
The Holy Father blessed the Paralympic Flag when he was in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in 2013, taking the opportunity to speak about the bonds between evangelisation and the world of sport.
The Vatican is participating in the "Casa Italia Paralimpica in Rio 2016,” which is a meeting place for the Italian delegation at the Paralympic Games.
The Casa Italia is a long-term project – which will involve the collaboration of the Holy See and the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro – to offer practical support to a series of project initiatives, especially involving parasport activities.(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) In the wake of the powerful earthquake that struck central Italy on Wednesday, Pope Francis at the General Audience postponed his prepared catechesis, and led the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square in the recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary.
The Holy Father expressed his “heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness” to all those affected by the earthquake and its aftershocks. He said he was deeply saddened upon learning several children were among the dead, and of hearing of the total destruction of the town of Amatrice.
“I want to assure all the people of Accumuli, Amatrice, the Diocese of Rieti, Ascoli Piceno, and all the people of Lazio, Umbria, and Le Marche, of the prayers and close solidarity of the entire Church, who in these moments extends her merciful love, as well as the concern of all of us here in the Piazza," Pope Francis said.
He asked everyone to join him in prayer to Jesus, that the Lord might “console the broken-hearted, and, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, bring them peace.”
“With Jesus,” Pope Francis concluded, “let our hearts be moved with compassion.”
Below, please find the full text of the Pope’s remarks at the General Audience on Wednesday:
“I had prepared the catechesis for today, as for all Wednesdays during this year of mercy, focusing on the closeness of Jesus. However on hearing of the news of the earthquake that has struck central Italy, and which has devastated entire areas and left many wounded, I cannot fail to express my heartfelt sorrow and spiritual closeness to all those present in the zones afflicted.
“I also express my condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and my spiritual support to those who are anxious and afraid. Hearing the mayor of Amatrice say that the town no longer exists, and learning that there are children among the dead, I am deeply saddened.
“For this reason, I want to assure all the people of Accumuli, Amatrice, the Diocese of Rieti, Ascoli Piceno, and all the people of Lazio, Umbria, and Le Marche, of the prayers and close solidarity of the entire Church, who in these moments extends her merciful love, as well as the concern of all of us here in the Piazza.
“And thanking all the volunteer and rescue personnel who are assisting these people, I ask you to join me in praying to the Lord Jesus, Who is always moved by compassion before the reality of human suffering, that He may console the broken hearted, and through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, bring them peace.
“With Jesus let our hearts be moved with compassion.
“So we will postpone, then, this week’s catechesis until next Wednesday, and I invite you to pray with me a part of the holy Rosary, the sorrowful mysteries.”(from Vatican Radio)
(Vatican Radio) The Bishops Conference of Poland has released the text of a letter sent by Pope Francis to thank the country for the reception he received last month during World Youth Day.
In the letter, Pope Francis told the Church in Poland he was “deeply moved by your strong faith and the unwavering hope that you have kept in spite of difficulties and tragedies, and by your fervent love, which animates your human and Christian pilgrimage.”
The full text of the letter is below
Archbishop Stanislaw Gądecki
Archbishop of Poznan
President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
Having returned from the Apostolic Journey to Poland, I want to renew the expression of my lively gratitude to you, Bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, for your warm welcome and for the zeal with which my visit was prepared. I am deeply moved by your strong faith and the unwavering hope that you have kept in spite of difficulties and tragedies, and by your fervent love, which animates your human and Christian pilgrimage.
The memory of the moving Eucharistic celebration at the Shrine of Czestochowa, for the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s Baptism, and the moment of prayer in the concentration camp at Auschwitz is especially dear to me. I find great joy in remembering the encounter with the young people who came from different nations.
I assure you of my prayers so that the Church in Poland may continue advancing on its path with perseverance and courage, showing the Lord’s merciful love to all. Please, also pray for me. I heartily bless you all.
With fraternal greetings
Vatican City, 3 August 2016.
Francis(from Vatican Radio)