Francis – Initiatives and Gestures Category

FRANCIS IN ROME • During his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis repeated his appeals to help the suffering nation of Syria. According to Vatican Radio, at the conclusion of the audience, Francis lamented “the dramatic news concerning the fate of the people of Aleppo.” After a ceasefire collapsed last week, rebel-held areas of Aleppo were heavily bombarded, creating a plight for the areas’ 250,000 residents.  This morning, the Syrian military announced it was launching concentrated air strikes in Aleppo and nearby areas, targeting insurgent heldRead More
FRANCIS IN ROME, Maria Fischer • Pope Francis once again offered a glimpse of the works of mercy he undertakes every Friday as part of the Jubilee of Mercy.  This time he visited the neo-natal unit at the San Giovanni Hospital in Rome and a hospice that houses 30 terminally ill patients. Where babies fight for their lives The man in white dressed in green and visited babies who are fighting for their lives in incubators, and terminally ill patients who are waiting for the end of their lives.  FrancisRead More
WYD2016, by Maria Fischer • “Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, we ask pardon for such cruelty.” This was the message Pope Francis left in the visitors’ book in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the only words he pronounced in this place where horror surpasses words, the imagination, capable of human thought. It is a place that leaves us powerless, destroyed, afraid, horrified at what human beings were capable of doing to other human beings. The Pope did not say anything. He took his time. He simply remained there, in silence, in prayer.Read More
by Ary Waldir Ramos Díaz, aleteia.org • Pope Francis, in the midst of reforming the curia and the structures of the Holy See, was seen this Wednesday morning, 13 July, inside a pearl-coloured Toyota Yaris on his way (after a dental appointment) to the fourth floor in Conciliacion 1 road.  This is where, among other offices, the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (CAL) is located.  Surprise, the Pope is at the door! The CAL staff and their supervisors couldn’t believe it. “Incredible.” Pope Francis decided to “pop in” to theRead More
By María Fischer • On Saturday 16 April, Pope Francis returned from his 13th international apostolic visit, this time to the Greek island of Lesbos. As is customary, before ending each of these trips and returning to the Vatican, the Holy Father went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore to give thanks to the Blessed Mother, the Salus Populi Romani, for her protection during the trip. Before going to Lesbos on Friday, he also went to the Basilica to pray for this brief and very important journey. The PopeRead More
FRANCIS AT ROME • Pope Francis washed the feet of twelve refugees:  three Muslims, a Hindu, three Christian Copts and five Catholics (four men and a woman) during the Lord’s Supper that he celebrated on Holy Thursday afternoon at the Centro di Accoglienza per Richiedenti  (or CARA) Reception Center for those seeking asylum.  The center is located in Castelnuovo di Porto on the outskirts of Rome, where there are 892 at the center of which 554 are Muslims, 337 are Christians and two are Hindus. Mass was celebrated on theRead More
FRANCIS IN ROME – HOLY YEAR OF MERCY • “The Pope with us”: This was the title of their Twitter account. Within the framework of the Holy Year and the ‘Friday of mercy,’ that morning, Pope Francis made a surprise visit to a group of drug addicts and alcoholics in Rome at the Mario Picchi Italian Center of Solidarity. “Do not be afraid,” Francis told them during the conversation. On its website, CEIS states, “It promotes activities and interventions that seek to prevent and to combat the social exclusion ofRead More
FRANCIS IN ROME – HOLY YEAR OF MERCY• On Monday, the Vatican Office of Papal Charities inaugurated a new initiative for the neediest: a medical clinic for the homeless, located alongside the showers and barbershop that Pope Francis made available in St. Peter’s Square. “We are grateful to Pope Francis for wanting once again to give a concrete sign of mercy in St. Peter’s Square to the homeless and suffering,” said Lucia Ercoli, Director of the Association of Solidarity Medicine. “Our doctors, along with those of FAS (Health Care Fund)Read More
FRANCIS IN MEXICO, by Gabriela de la Garza Maldonado and Maria Fischer • The last day of Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico, once again, he reached out to the periphery: a prison, and then to the border, where year after year thousands of migrants cross in search of a better future. “I am coming to the end of my visit to Mexico. I could not leave without greeting you and celebrating with you the Jubilee of Mercy.” One must savor this phrase. The Pope went to this prison not forRead More
FRANCIS IN ROME – WORKS OF MERCY • During the Sunday Angelus on 6 September 2015, Francis invited all parishes, beginning with his Diocese of Rome, to host a family of refugees. Two Vatican parishes, St. Anne and St. Peter’s responded to this request in collaboration with the Papal Almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski and with the St. Egidio Community. On 14 January, the Vice-director of the Press Office, Ciro Beneditini, announced that the new refugees welcomed were a woman from Eritrea along with three children and another young mother andRead More