Extracts from Pope's New Book, 'The Name of God Is Mercy'

01/11/2016 Comments (4)

Pope Francis’ first book, The Name of God Is Mercy, in which the Holy Father expands on his vision of God’s mercy, will be published tomorrow.

The work is a book-length interview with Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Italian film director Roberto Benigni, and Zhang Agostino Jianqing of Padua prison will be presenting the book at a press launch tomorrow at the Augustinianum in Rome. 

Ahead of its publication, the book’s publishers, Piemme, have made the following extracts available.

The Pope, like Peter, is in need of mercy

“The Pope is a man who needs the mercy of God,” the Holy Father says in the book-length interview....READ MORE

Filed under book, pope francis, the name of god is mercy

Twelve Key Points From Pope's 2016 'Survey of the World'

01/11/2016 Comments (8)


Pope Francis spoke extensively today about the migration crisis and how nations should best confront it in his annual speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

Here are some key points from the Holy Father’s discourse:

  1. The Pope said an individualistic spirit is “fertile soil” for the growth of indifference, fear and cynicism towards the "least in society": the poor, the marginalized, and particularly migrants.
  2. He counseled world leaders not to be frightened of migration which has always been a part of human history, adding it is “painful to realize” that these migrants are not included in international systems or agreements.
  3. The Pope said a “culture of waste” and the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, conflict, diplomacy, euthanasia, holy see, human trafficking, migration, pope francis

Pope Francis: Church Must Reflect Light of Christ for 'Countless Restless Hearts'

01/06/2016 Comments (4)

"Countless" people are restless, looking for the light of Jesus, and it is up to the Church to reflect Christ's light, drawing out the "desire for God in every heart", Pope Francis has said. 

In his homily on the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord, which the Vatican and Italy celebrate today, the Holy Father said the Magi "represent the men and women throughout the world who are welcomed into the house of God."

The Pope said that like the Magi, "countless people, in our own day, have a 'restless heart' which continues to seek without finding sure answers – it is the restlessness of the Holy Spirit that stirs in hearts. They too are looking for a star to show them the path to Bethlehem."...READ MORE

Filed under epiphany, evangelization, magi, missionary, pope francis

First Papal Prayer Intentions Video Released

01/05/2016 Comments (7)

The first video of Pope Francis’ traditional monthly prayer intentions has been released. 

In the video, which demonstrates the Pope's prayer intention for January on interreligious dialogue, the Pope says that all religious followers are children of God and dialogue is necessary if justice and peace are to be achieved. It ends with representatives of Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity each saying they "believe in love." 

Each month, the Holy Father will have his prayer intentions filmed by Vatican Television Centre (CTV) and disseminated on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The new initiative is the idea of the international Apostleship of Prayer, a Jesuit-run outreach to...READ MORE

Filed under epiphany, pope francis, prayer, prayer intentions

Pope Francis' Homily on Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

01/01/2016 Comments (4)

In St. Peter's basilica this morning, the Holy Father delivered the following homily at Mass on New Year's Day, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Peace.  

Last month, the Vatican customarily released his World Day of Peace Message which this year is entitled "Overcome Indifference and Win Peace".

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - World Day of Peace, 1 January 2016

We have heard the words of the Apostle Paul: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).

What does it mean to say that Jesus was born in “the fullness of time”?  If we consider that particular moment of history, we might...READ MORE

Filed under new year's day, pope francis, solemnity of mary mother of god, world day of peace message

Large Fall in Numbers of Faithful Attending Angelus, Regina Coeli

12/30/2015 Comments (28)

According to figures released today by the papal household, the number of faithful taking part in various Vatican papal events almost halved in 2015 compared to last year, although some of the disparity is due to the large numbers of people who attended the canonizations of Sts. John Paul II and John XXIII in 2014.

Just over 3.2 million faithful attended general audiences, special audiences, Vatican liturgical celebrations, the Angelus and Regina Coeli prayers in 2015. That compares to 5.9 million faithful who took part in the same events last year. 

Last year’s historic canonizations meant that 730,000 participated in liturgical celebrations in April 2014 compared to 110,000 in the...READ MORE

Filed under angelus, general audience, pope francis, regina coeli, statistics, vatican

Pilgrim Re-enacts Medieval Pilgrimage, Reaching Canterbury on Becket's Feast

12/29/2015 Comments (2)

On the feast of St. Thomas Becket a former teacher has arrived in Canterbury, England, after re-enacting a remarkable 200-mile pilgrimage dressed only in medieval clothes, hauling a sack for his belongings and carrying a staff.

Steven Payne, who made the period-style clothing himself using authentic medieval materials and techniques, spent just over two weeks walking from Southampton to Canterbury, following the historic Pilgrims’ Way.

“It consistently rained,” he told the Register on arrival in Canterbury today. “I was sleeping rough in bushes and trees, washing with medieval soap that I made myself, using medieval deodorant that I made myself, all from original recipes. I was washing...READ MORE

Filed under medieval period, pilgrimage, refugees, st. thomas becket

Pope Francis: World and Church Need Families More Than Ever

12/28/2015 Comment

The family is a kind of pilgrimage, playing a "great formative" role for all of its members by teaching prayer, understanding, obedience and forgiveness, Pope Francis has said.

In his homily on the feast of the Holy Family in St. Peter's basilica on Sunday, the Holy Father underscored the importance of the "domestic pilgrimage" of the family and how the world and the Church needs it more than ever. 

He spoke of "how comforting it is" to reflect that Mary and Joseph taught Jesus how to pray, and reflected on how the family can be "the pilgrimage of education in prayer". 

"What can be more beautiful than for a father and mother to bless their children at the beginning and end of each...READ MORE

Filed under family, feast of the holy family, pilgrimage, pope francis, year of mercy

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin