POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR FEBRUARY – “VATICAN INSIDER” TAKES A PILGRIMAGE TO VENICE – POPE FRANCIS’ “DISMAY” FOR CONFLICT IN SYRIA AND IRAQ – PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR EXPLOSION IN MEXICAN HOSPITAL

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POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR FEBRUARY

The Holy Father’s general prayer intention for February is: “That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.”

His missionary intention is: “That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.”

“VATICAN INSIDER” TAKES A PILGRIMAGE TO VENICE

Join me this weekend on “Vatican Insider” as I take you on a pilgrimage to Venice for a visit to the world famous St. Mark’s Basilica, to the church of La Madonna della Salute – Our Lady of Good Health, known by Venetians as La Salute – and then to the delightful Shrine of Our Lady of Graces, a small and very beautiful treasure. Venice, oncxe called the Serenissima Republic of Venice has many hidden treasures and we’ll explore a few of those.

ST. MARK’S BASILICA:

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LA SALUTE:

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OUR LADY OF GRACES:

Venice - Our Lady of Graces 1

Venice - Our Lady of Graces 2

As you know, in the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on Sirius-XM satellite radio. If you live outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives:

http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=

POPE FRANCIS’ “DISMAY” FOR CONFLICT IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

This morning in the Consistory Hall, the Pope received thirty representatives of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. He told them they should focus on the way the churches offered communion in the first centuries, and sacraments such as baptism.

This commission was constituted in 2003 following an initiative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the ecclesiastical authorities of the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches.

During the last ten years, from a historical perspective, the commission has examined the roads through which the Churches have expressed their communion in the first centuries, and what this means for our search for communion today. During the five-day meeting this week, the commission embarked upon a deeper examination of the nature of the Sacraments, especially Baptism with the aim of producing a joint document on “Communion and Communication in the first five centuries of Christianity.”

Francis recalled the inspiring commitment to dialogue of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka I Was, Patriarch of the Syro-Orthodox Church of Antioch and all the East, who died last year, and joined in prayer with the clergy and the faithful for this “dedicated servant of God.”

“At this time,” said the Holy Father, “we especially feel dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. I think of all those living in the region, including our Christian brothers and sisters, and many minorities, who are experiencing the effects of a prolonged and painful conflict. I join you in praying for a negotiated solution and in imploring God’s goodness and mercy upon all those affected by this immense tragedy. All Christians are called to work together, in mutual acceptance and trust, in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness of Christ in all our Churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities.” (source VIS)

PAPAL TELEGRAM FOR EXPLOSION IN MEXICAN HOSPITAL

(VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico, Mexico, following an explosion in the Maternity Hospital of Cualjimalpa that claimed several victims and casualties, including a number of babies. The explosion was caused during the transfer of fuel to the center of the city.

The telegram said that Pope Francis, “greatly saddened by this tragic news, offers his prayers for the eternal repose of the souls of the departed” and “wishes to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased, along with expressions of comfort, and his fervent hope for the swift recovery of the injured. He imparts the comfort of his apostolic blessing as a sign of hope in the Resurrected Lord.”

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