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God Gives Joy Nobody Can Take Away

Christians Don’t ‘Anesthetize’ Pain But Live Through It Christians do not “anesthetize” or numb pain, but live through it aware that God gives us a joy that nobody can take away. According to Vatican Radio, this was at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily this morning during his Mass at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy […]

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Letter #42, 2016: Day of Tears

May 5, 2016, Thursday — Pope Francis Celebrated Today in Rome the “Jubilee of Tears” — For All Who Weep and Are in Need of Consolation… “Jesus wept.” —John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible. The verse describes the reaction of Jesus to the news of the death of his friend Lazarus, the brother […]

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Letter #41, 2016: Concert in Palmyra

May 5, 2016, Thursday — A Russian Concert in Palmyra, Syria, Contains a Message to the West The Diplomacy of Music As I write this, a renowned Russian conductor is conducting an orchestral concert called “Prayer for Palmyra: Music Revives Ancient Ruins” in the ruins of the ancient desert city of Palmyra in war-torn Syria. […]

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The Lord Doesn’t Weigh 99-1 Ratio of Sheep. He Seeks

Reminds Faithful in St. Peter’s Square That Christians Cannot Be Closed In on Themselves If I still have 99 of my sheep, but one has wandered off, what does it matter? Well, to the Good Shepherd, it matters a lot. Pope Francis explained this during his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, […]

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Making our way

Jesus is the way, and for Christians the journey of life is part cross and part resurrection. But on the way there are those who stop like “spiritual mummies”, who are stubborn and go astray, who spend their life spinning their wheels, mesmerized by worldly beauty. During Mass at Santa Marta on Tuesday, 3 May, […]

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The cost of witness

There is a “twofold witness” in Christian life: that of the Spirit who “opens the heart”, showing us Jesus, and that of the person who “with the power of the Spirit” proclaims “that the Lord lives”, even at the cost of “paying the price” of persecution. Once again the Holy Spirit and his action in […]

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On the Gift of the Holy Spirit

“We are not alone! And the sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit is also the peace that Jesus gives to his disciples”   Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! The Gospel of today brings us again to the Upper Room. During the Last Supper, before facing the Passion and death on a cross, […]

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Magazine

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Exploring Mother Teresa’s life, from Sister to Saint

Pope Francis has announced that Blessed Mother Teresa, along with three others, will be canonized later in the year, after miracles were recognized for each of them. Mother Teresa was, in her own lifetime, and still remains, one of the most famous people in the world. But who was she, really? And how did she […]

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Andrea Tornielli

11. Luis Badilla and 12. Andrea Tornielli – Two Catholic journalists bring the Vatican to the world

Luis Badilla, editorial director for Il Sismografo (The Seismograph), a leading blogspot for Vatican-related and worldwide Catholic news, has been covering the Catholic world for a quarter-century from Rome. He is a Chilean ex-patriate and veteran reporter for Vatican Radio who began his website in 2009. Badilla has been described as “not old, but having […]

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Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea of Bucharest

2. Dr. Maria-Anca Cernea

The two Catholic Churches in the country of Romania —the Latin-rite Catholic Church in Romania and the Byzantine-rite Romanian Church United with Rome (Greek-Catholic) — both experienced a particularly vicious brand of persecution during four decades of Communist rule in the 20th century. Almost all the Catholic bishops in the country, of both rites, and […]

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6. Father Dhiya Azziz, OFM

The story of the Iraqi Franciscan friar Dhiya Azziz, OFM, the parish priest of the Syrian village of Yacoubieh, with whom all contact was lost on December 23 when he was abducted (he was released in early January), is, characteristically for that area of the world, filled with uncertainty. Fr. Azziz, 41, a native of […]

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10. Sr. Elaine Roulet

Known as the “Prison Angel,” Sister of St. Joseph Elaine Roulet anticipated Pope Francis’ special attention to prisoners by decades when she began as a prison family liaison in 1971. For more than 35 years she rose at 4 a.m., prayed from 4 to 5, went to Mass, swam at a local pool and then, […]

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Salvatore Cordileone

1. Salvatore Cordileone

The U.S. city most identified with the homosexual movement, San Francisco, saw fierce criticism in 2015 of its Catholic archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, by many of its citizens, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. The subject at hand was a teacher contract and handbook proposed for teachers in San Francisco’s four diocesan high schools. […]

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Cardinal Robert Sarah

9. Cardinal Robert Sarah

In the 2015 Synod on the Family, like its predecessor in 2014, the prelates from Africa emerged as a formidable force upholding Church Tradition, in doctrine and in practice. And among those prelates, Guinean, 70, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has been a particularly outspoken crusader for […]

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Books, Art & People

Massimo Palombella

Sistine Chapel Choir Releases Sublime Sacred Music Album Recorded in its Chapel

As the first album ever to be recorded inside the Sistine Chapel is released, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, personal secretary of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, said the sacred music featured is not something of the past, but continues to play a role in evangelization. “Sacred music has a past. It comes from the past, but it […]

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_Alicia von Stamwitz, THE SPIRIT OF SAINT FRANCIS

Inspiring Words of Pope Francis, and a Unique Album from the Vatican Choir

  Alicia von Stamwitz is an award-winning freelance author and editor. She has interviewed 2015 Templeton Prize winner Jean Vanier, Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister, Quaker activist Parker Palmer, art historian Sister Wendy Beckett, and essayist Kathleen Norris. In cooperation with the Vatican, she recently compiled and edited two books of the writings of Pope Francis: THE […]

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Food For Thought

Roman to the core, Aldo Fabrizi (1905-1990) was an Italian actor, director, screenwriter, and comedian, best known for his role as the heroic priest in Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City and as a partner of the Neapolitan actor Totò in a number of successful comedies. Aldo’s exuberant younger sister, Elena, known as “Lella,” also had […]

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Meditation

“Nostalgia” for God can lead us to the joy of rediscovering Him In his morning homily at Domus Santa Marta on October 1, the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux — so important in the spiritual life of Jorge Mario Bergoglio — Pope Francis spoke of two key issues for the life of each […]

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1.1 Ciseri

Divine Beauty: From Van Gogh to Chagall and Fontana

  At the press preview of the exhibition “Divine Beauty,” on at Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi through January 24, 2016, Giuseppe Cardinal Bettori referred to a benchmark sermon given by Pope Paul VI to a group of artists on May 7, 1964. The Holy Father had said, “We must re-establish the friendship between the Church and […]

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