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Day: March 12, 2017

Pope Francis visits Rome’s S.ta Maddalena di Canossa parish

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis visited the Roman parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa on Sunday afternoon.
The schedule released by the Vatican ahead of the visit included time with the children and young adolescents of the parish in their sports field, a meeting in the parish theatre with parents and newborns baptized during the course of the past year, a visit with the elderly and sick of the parish in the parish hall, and an encounter with parishioners active in faith formation and pastoral outreach, time for the Sacrament of Penance, and Mass in the parish church.
St. Magdalene of Canossa was born into a prominent Veronese family in the middle of the second half of the 18 th century. She used her family’s considerable wealth to serve and advocate on behalf of the poor of her city, eventually founding the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor . 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope prays for Guatemala fire victims, calls for action

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday called for prayerful solidarity with the victims of a deadly fire at a shelter for troubled youth in Guatemala.
The blaze the Refugio Virgen home on the outskirts of Guatemala City claimed at least 35 lives.
Authorities say the fire began in the girls’ dormitory, where someone ignited the mattresses in the wake of a mass detention following a foiled mass breakout attempt the day before.
The shelter has long been the subject of complaints about abuse, as well as criticism for inadequate food and overcrowded, unsanitary conditions.
Built to house 500 people, there were at least 800 guests registered at the time of the fire.
“I express my closeness to the people of Guatemala, who are living in mourning over the grave and sad fire that broke out inside the Casa Refugio Virgen de la Asunción [this past week], causing deaths and injuries among the girls who lived there,” said Pope Francis.
“May the Lord receive their souls, heal the wounded, console their grieving families and the whole nation,” he prayed, following the Angelus prayer on Sunday.
“I also pray and ask you to pray with me for all the girls and boys who are victims of violence, abuse, exploitation and war,” he continued.
“This is a plague,” he said, “this hidden scream that should be heard by all of us and that we cannot continue to pretend not to hear and to see.”
(from Vatican Radio)…

Pope Francis: the Cross is the gate of salvation

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the Second Sunday of Lent.
In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from the 17th chapter of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, and recounted the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
“Transfigured on Mt. Tabor,” said Pope Francis, “Jesus desired to show His glory to His disciples not to keep them from going through the Cross, but to show them to where He was carrying the Cross.”
Whoever dies with Christ, with Christ shall rise again,” said Pope Francis, “those who struggle with Him, with Him shall triumph.”
“The Cross is the gate of the Resurrection,” he said.
The Holy Father went on to say that the message of hope, which the Cross contains, is one that constantly calls us to be strong in our lives. “The Christian Cross is not something to hang in the house ‘to tie the room together’ [It. suppellettile di casa] or an ornament to wear, but a call to that love, with which Jesus sacrificed Himself to save humanity from sin and evil.”
“In this Lenten season,” said Pope Francis, “let us contemplate devoutly the image of the Crucified Lord: it is the symbol of the Christian faith; it is the symbol of Jesus, who died and rose for us. Let us make sure that the Cross marks the stages of our Lenten journey, that we might understand more and more [perfectly] the gravity of sin and the value of the sacrifice with which the Redeemer has saved us – all of us.”
(from Vatican Radio)…