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In Focus 
Pope’s Easter message and blessing

April 20, 2014 - Pope Francis delivered his special Easter message and blessing on Sunday, assuring the world that the good news of the resurrection of Jesus can transform “every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death.” After Easter Sunday morning Mass he went up to the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica overlooking the vast square and delivered his Easter message and blessing, “Urbi et Orbi”, the Latin for 'to the city (i.e Rome) and to the world.” The Pope's “Urbi et Orbi” message is delivered twice a year – at Christmas and at Easter. Pope Francis delivered his Easter message entirely in Italian.

Pope Francis began his Urbi et Orbi picking out the greeting of the angel to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not  ...»


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Vatican 
Pope urges Christians to spread Easter joy in every human situation

April 21, 2014 - Pope Francis on Easter Monday wished that the joyful wonder of the risen Lord be imprinted in our hearts and shine through every aspect of our life, pervading every human situation. Speaking to a large holiday crowd in St. Peter’s Square in Rome during the midday ‘Regina Coeli’ prayer, the Pope commented on the day’s Gospel of the women encountering Jesus on their way to spread  ...»


Pope’s tweet says true joy comes from meeting the Lord

April 21, 2014 - Pope Francis on Easter Monday used the social media to assure Christians that true joy comes only from God. “Each encounter with Jesus fills us with joy, with that deep joy which only God can give,” he tweeted on his Twitter account @pontifex. The previous day, Easter Sunday he tweeted a simple straightforward Easter greeting, “Christ is risen! Alleluia!”
  ...»



God’s love, not evil, will ultimately triumph, Pope says at Way of the Cross

April 19, 2014 - Pope Francis on Good Friday night presided over a candlelit Way of the Cross at Rome’s landmark Colosseum, with thousands attending in reflections and prayer. For the entire event, the Pope remained silently seated under a canopy atop a hillside overlooking the Colosseum, following the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross, at the end of which he delivered a brief impromptu  ...»


Papal preacher: Betraying Jesus is bad, doubting his mercy is worse

April 18, 2014 - Pope Francis presided over a Good Friday liturgy in the afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica, commemorating the passion and death of Jesus. The pope began the traditional Holy Week rite after a silent procession down the central nave. Then he lay prostrate on the floor before the main altar in silent prayer, a sign of adoration and penance. Later, the pope and thousands of faithful  ...»


Pope urges prayers for victims and families of South Korean ferry disaster

April 19, 2014 - Pope Francis, who is closely following the South Korean ferry disaster has urged all to pray for the victims and that families mourning them. “Please join me in praying for the victims of the ferry disaster in Korea and their families,” the Pope urged a tweet on his Twitter account @pontifex, on Saturday. The ferry, Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized on Wednesday  ...»


Human Rights & Environment 
Mideast patriarchs call for peace at Easter

April 21, 2014 - Catholic patriarchs in the Middle East, in their Easter messages, appealed for peace in Syria and expressed hope that the region would experience a resurrection. Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham, who was born in Syria, said his country has "entered upon the fourth year of its way of the cross" but "will one day soon, we hope, reach resurrection joy." "I want Damascus  ...»


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.  ...»


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 
Easter greetings from Indian President, PM

April 21, 2014 - The Indian President and Prime Minister have greeted the nation on the occasion of Easter wishing that the commemoration of Christ’s ...»


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 ...»


WORLD 

April 21, 2014 - Thousands of pilgrims from around the world celebrated Easter in the Holy Land, commemorating the day when according to Christian tradition Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem two millennia ago. Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of ...»


April 21, 2014 - South Korean Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung urged Catholics to imitate the Korean martyrs and "bravely put love into action." In his Easter message, released April 18, the cardinal who is Archbishop of Seoul, also prayed "for those ...»


April 21, 2014 - With little to celebrate, Nigerians marked Easter Sunday with heightened security against a spreading Islamic uprising, mourning the deaths of at least 75 bomb blast victims and fearful of the fate of 85 abducted schoolgirls. The ...»


April 21, 2014 - Less than a week before Pope Francis canonizes two of his predecessors in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Romans are bracing for the arrival of as many as 3 million visitors and pilgrims from outside. Nineteen heads of state, 24 ...»


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 ...»

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 


Acts 10: 34a, 37-43; Col 3:1-4; John 20: 1-9

Egyptian pyramids are world-famous as one of the “seven Wonders” of the ancient world. But they are actually gigantic tombs containing the mummified bodies of Egyptian Pharaohs. Westminster Abby is famous, ...»


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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