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Pope washes feet of disabled on Holy Thursday

April 18, 2014 - “In the humbling act of washing his disciples' feet, Jesus made Himself a servant - our servant. And he chose this path out of love saying, ‘You too must love and serve one another in love.’ This is the legacy that Jesus has left us.” Pope Francis made this exhortation during the evening Mass on Holy Thursday at a rehabilitation facility on the outskirts of Rome, where he washed the feet of four women and eight men who are living with disabilities.

Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates Jesus’ surprise gesture of washing the feet of his disciples as an example of service to one another. Previous popes always held the ceremony either in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican or Rome's Basilica of Saint John Lateran and only included 12 Catholic men - usually  ...»


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Pope celebrates Holy Thursday Mass with his priests

April 17, 2014 - Pope Francis began the Easter triduum - the three days leading up to Easter - with a Chrism Mass Holy Thursday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Chrism Mass is the first of the two liturgies on Holy Thursday. The other is the afternoon liturgy of the Supper of the Lord, that includes the washing of the feet, in commemoration of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the  ...»


Pope Francis wishes retired Pope on 87th birthday

April 17, 2014 - Pope Francis on Wednesday wished retired Pope Benedict XVI on his birthday. Pope Benedict who lives inside the Vatican, turned 87 on Wednesday. Holy See’s spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis called Pope Benedict on the phone to wish him and assured him he prayed for him in a special way at Mass Wednesday morning. Fr. Lombardi noted that in keeping with the mood of  ...»


Pope gives lift to 2 kids in his car

April 17, 2014 - In a rare move, Pope Francis gave a lift on his car to two lucky kids during his general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday. A particularly jovial Pope hopped off his white, open-air car Wednesday to greet a group of fifth graders from Perugia who presented him with a T-shirt from their school. Seemingly joking, Francis asked if any of them wanted to take a spin through  ...»


Prisoners welcome Pope’s gift of Gospels

April 17, 2014 - More than a thousand pocket-sized Gospels were distributed among the inmates of Rome’s Regina Coeli prison as a special gift of Pope Francis. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Almoner (alms giver) of Pope Francis carried the Gospels to personally hand them over to the prisoners. “It has been a truly touching encounter,” the Polish archbishop told Vatican Radio. Many inmates wept  ...»


Pope clears two Italian Religious for sainthood

April 16,2014: Pope Francis on Tuesday cleared miracles attributed to two Italians, qualifying them for sainthood, and also recognized the heroic virtues of a French-born archbishop and an Austrian priest. One of the miracles is attributed to the intercession of Italian Capuchin priest Fr. Ludovico of Casoria (born Archangelo Palmentieri), the founder of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters  ...»


Human Rights & Environment 
Kachin, Burmese Army raids rebel stronghold: thousands of refugees and humanitarian crisis

April 15, 2014: Fighting has resumed in Kachin State, northern Burma bordering China, between the Burmese army and ethnic rebel militia Kachin Independence Army ( Kia) . The new wave of violence flared up on April 10 in conjunction with the launching of the Naypyidaw census and has already caused more than 3 thousand new refugees. The alarm is being raised by a group of local NGOs, including  ...»


Pakistan blasphemy lawyers receive death threats in courtroom

April 14, 2014 - Lawyers representing a man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan’s populous Punjab province were subject to death threats inside the courtroom where they were giving evidence. Two lawyers, Rashid Rahman and Allah Dad, said the judge overseeing the case of Junaid Hafeez, an academic who is accused of publishing an offensive drawing of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook last year, did  ...»


UN rights chief slams 'rampant' torture in Syria

April 14, 2014 - The United Nation’s top human rights official has condemned the ``rampant use of torture'' in detention facilities in Syria. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says her office has documented a ``broad pattern of torture and ill-treatment'' in government facilities and some run by rebel groups. Pillay said in a statement Monday that the report draws on detailed  ...»


Nepal government urged to change amnesty plan

April 14, 2014 - Nepal's government faced calls on Friday from human rights and victims' groups not to grant amnesties over atrocities committed during the country's civil war for which nobody has been brought to justice. In a decade-long insurgency that pitted Maoist guerrillas against the army, more than 16,000 people were dead, hundreds disappeared and thousands were forced out of their homes.  ...»


UN warns climate efforts falling short

April 14, 2014 - Delivering the latest stark news about climate change on Sunday, a United Nations panel warned that governments are not doing enough to avert profound risks in coming decades. But the experts found a silver lining: Not only is there still time to head off the worst, but the political will to do so seems to be rising around the world. In a unveiled in Berlin, Germany, the  ...»


SPECIAL FEATURES 
›  POPE'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

The Vatican Radio started its English broadcast for South Asia in 1958, with a weekly 10-minute news transmission. Jesuit Father Thomas O’Donnell was its first Director and the broadcast was specially made for India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In 1964 South Asia got a boost when Pope Paul VI visited Bombay, India for the World Eucharistic Congress from 2nd to 5thof December. Consequently, in 1965 ...»

TWITTER @PONTIFEX 

Pope Francis ‏ on 31 March 2014
Lent is a time to change direction, to respond to the reality of evil and poverty.

Pope Francis ‏ on 29 March 2014
We live in a society that leaves no room for God; day by day this numbs our hearts.

Pope Francis ‏ on 28 March 2014
We all need to improve, to change for the better. Lent helps us fight against our faults.

Pope Francis ‏ on 27 March 2014
Lent is a time of ...»


South Asia 
India is multi-religious because it is an authentic and healthy democracy says Pune bishop

April 16, 2014:"India belongs to people of all religions", and "minorities in the country should be protected and promoted. That is the test of an ...»


By following Christ's example, Nepal’s politicians can save the country says Apostolic Vicar of Nepal.

April 16, 2014: By following Christ’s example, Nepal's politicians can save the country, said the Apostolic Vicar of Nepal, Bishop Anthony Sharma. In ...»


For Sri Lanka’s bishops, Easter is a time of reconciliation for their people

April 16,2014: The bishops of Sri Lanka in their Easter message in Sinhala, Tamil and English, called on fellow Sri Lankans to search for "true ...»


Catholics initiate project to help blind people in Karnataka

April 14, 2014 - Some 2,000 members of a Catholic parish in southern India’s Bangalore city have pledged to donate their eyes marking the launch of a ...»


Lent of prayer and solidarity with Catholic and non-Catholic poor in Bùi Chu

April 12,2014: Lent has been a time for initiatives in favour of the poor, the marginalised and the unfortunate in the Diocese of Bui Chu, in the ...»


WORLD 

April 18, 2014 - Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, patriarch of the eastern-rite Maronite Catholic Church, washed and kissed the feet of 12 prisoners during a Holy Thursday Mass in Roumieh, Lebanon's largest prison, north of Beirut. The April 17 Mass ...»


April 16,2014: In the Philippines, the bishop in conflict-ridden Basilan province called for a cease-fire on Tuesday(April 15), as clashes between government troops and Abu Sayyaf rebels entered its fourth day. "I call on our brother Muslims to ...»


April 16,2014 Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore in his message for Easter, called the faithful to a “new life” in Christ. The prelate said "In our celebration of Easter, we are reminded once again that through the Paschal mystery – ...»


April 14, 2014 - A prominent Catholic Church leader in Myanmar is calling religious leaders of the country to greater religious tolerance saying “unity in diversity” and “peace and prosperity” are the destiny of Myanmar. In this task, it is the duty ...»


April 11, 2014 - A Catholic Church programme for Syrian children in Lebanon has been extended, the Vatican said on Friday. A 3-month healthcare mission for Syrian refugee children begun last December in the Bekaa valley has been extended until end ...»

Pope’s General Audience 
›  Apr. 16: Christ's passion, death
›  Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Wisdom
›  Apr. 02: Sacrament of Matrimony
›  Mar. 26: Sacrament of Holy Orders
›  Mar. 19: St. Joseph
›  Mar. 05: Ash Wednesday
›  Feb. 26: Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
›  Feb. 19: Sacrament of Reconciliation
›  Feb. 12: Eucharist in Daily Life
›  Feb. 5: Sacrament of the Eucharist
›  Jan. 29: Sacrament of Confirmation
›  Jan. 22: Unity Among Christians
›  Jan 15: Sacrament of Baptism (cont.)
›  Jan 08: Sacrament of Baptism
›  Dec. 18: Christmas
›  Dec. 11: Life Everlasting
›  Dec. 04: Resurrection of the body (contd.)
›  Nov. 27: Resurrection of the body
INSPIRING LIVES 
›  St. Teresa Benedicta - Her martyrdom: 14 Mar 2014
›  St. Teresa Benedicta - Early Life: 7 Mar 2014
›  St. Juan Grande Román - 28 Feb 2014
›  St. Riccardo Pampuri - 21 Feb 2014
›  St. Teresa de Jesús - 14 Feb 2014
›  St. Claude La Colombière, S.J. - 7 Feb 2014
›  St. Jean-Gabriel: Glorification - 31 Jan 2014
›  St. Jean-Gabriel Perboyre - 24 Jan 2014
›  St. Raphael Kalinowski - 17 Jan 2014
›  St. Magdalen : Canonization - 10 Jan 2014



Sunday Reflections 


Is 50:4-7; Phil 2:6-11; Mt: 21: 1-11 & 27:11- [54] 66
On Marco Polo's celebrated trip to the Orient, he was taken before the great and fearsome ruler, Genghis Khan. Now what was Marco Polo supposed to do before this mighty pagan conqueror? One false ...»


Ez 37:12-14; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45
Robert McAfee Brown was a chaplain in World War II. He was on a troop ship with 1,500 Marines on their way home after having served in Japan. To his surprise, he was approached by a group of Marines asking him to ...»


I Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41
The book God’s Annoying Love for Imperfect People by Michael Yaconeli tells the story of a man recently converted to Jesus and how an unbelieving friend sought to “see” why. “So you have been converted ...»


Ex 17:3-7; Rom 5: 1-2, 5-8; Jn 4: 5-42Rev. Randall D. Bell tells a powerful story about a pastor who stood in court beside a member of his congregation--an individual who had been “out with the boys,” and had had too much to drink. As he was ...»


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