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Celebration of the World Day of Peace (1 January 2014)

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Paul VI stated that not only individuals but nations too must encounter one another in a spirit of fraternity. As he says: “In this mutual understanding and friendship, in this sacred communion, we must also … work together to build the common future of the human race.” In the first place, this duty falls to those who are most privileged. Their obligations are rooted in human and supernatural fraternity and are manifested in three ways: the duty of solidarity, which ... (Continue reading)

The power of Sunday family dinner

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The advantages of gathering together to share a family meal are well documented. Many experts in various fields of expertise tell us that the family meal helps our kids stay off drugs, do better in school, learn to socialize, bond with family members, and make healthy lifestyle choices. Family mealtime is important. In the Gospels, we see that Jesus spends much of his time eating with others: the wedding feast at Cana, feeding the five thousand, dinner with Mary, Martha and ... (Continue reading)

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Lumen Fidei

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16. The clearest proof of the reliability of Christ’s love is to be found in his dying for our sake. If laying down one’s life for one’s friends is the greatest proof of love (cf. Jn 15:13), Jesus offered his own life for all, even for his enemies, to transform their hearts. This explains why the evangelists could see the hour of Christ’s crucifixion as the culmination of the gaze of faith; in that hour the depth and breadth of ... (Continue reading)

The Year of Faith in Nazareth

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Photo credit: Meaghen Hale On Sunday, 17 November, over six thousand pilgrims attended the International Day of Faith in Nazareth, a collaboration of the Israel Ministry of Tourism and the Italian Bishops’ Conference, to celebrate the close of the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict announced the year on 11 October 2012, the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as ... (Continue reading)

Pope Francis’ Letter to Israel

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To His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, I send cordial greetings to you, your brother bishops, and all those gathered in Nazareth as you celebrate the close of the Year of Faith in the Holy Land. I assure you of my spiritual closeness and I pray that this celebration will not only witness to your faith, but also nourish it and invite others to an encounter with Jesus Christ. In announcing the Year of Faith, my beloved predecessor Benedict XVI ... (Continue reading)

Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

Dear Brothers and Sisters, You are gathered in Rome for the Order’s World Consultation which takes place every five years to reflect on the situation of the Catholic Community in the Holy Land, to evaluate the achievements and determine directives for the future. At the same time the International Pilgrimage is taking place with more than 2,000 participants. I thank you for coming and wish to express my appreciation and my encouragement for the initiatives of solidarity that the Order fosters ... (Continue reading)

The Day of Confraternities and Popular Piety

In the Gospel we heard a passage from the farewell discourses of Jesus, as related by the evangelist John in the context of the Last Supper. Jesus entrusts his last thoughts, as a spiritual testament, to the apostles before he leaves them. Today’s text makes it clear that Christian faith is completely centred on the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ... When Benedict XVI spoke to you, he used this expression: evangelical spirit. Dear confraternities, the ... (Continue reading)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dear Brothers and Sisters! At the end of its Constitution on the Church, the Second Vatican Council left us a very beautiful meditation on Mary Most Holy. Let me just recall the words referring to the mystery we celebrate today: “the immaculate Virgin preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things” (no. 59). Then towards the ... (Continue reading)

Share with the poor

Our human family is presently experiencing something of a turning point in its own history, if we consider the advances made in various areas. We can only praise the positive achievements which contribute to the authentic welfare of mankind, in fields such as those of health, education, and communications. At the same time, we must also acknowledge that the majority of the men and women of our time continue to live daily in situations of insecurity, with dire consequences. Certain ... (Continue reading)

The dignity and importance of work

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, in one of the moments when Jesus returns to his town, to Nazareth, and speaks in the Synagogue, the amazement of his fellow townspeople at his wisdom is emphasized. They asked themselves the question: “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” (13:55). Jesus comes into our history, he comes among us by being born of Mary by the power of God, but with the presence of St. Joseph, the legal father who cares for him and ... (Continue reading)

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