Pope Francis tweeted today, July 28, 2015: Dear young friends, do not be afraid of marriage: Christ accompanies with his grace all spouses who remain united to him.

I posted this tweet on my Facebook page this morning and want to thank the great number of you who wrote about your beautiful, happy and often long marriages! Congratulations! Here is one letter, typical of many: Been through it all, knowing our marriage is about the three of us has made it last. My husband , myself and Christ! We are accountable to him.

I must add one very important detail to what I wrote yesterday about the late Cardinal William Baum: After he visited me in the eye hospital and during our Christmas Day together in his home with six other guests, I learned that it was the cardinal’s charism to visit sick people in the hospital. He’d keep in touch with the North American College, with Vatican offices and Santa Susanna parish, for example and when he learned someone was ill, he’d visit.


In several days, the Vatican will have a new health services director and Pope Francis will have a new personal physician as his current doctor, Patrizio Polisca retires at the end of the month and the end of his five-year mandate. Dr. Polisca will, however, remain as personal physician to Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and will continue to reside in the Vatican.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists this morning: “Regarding the speculations in the Italian press this morning, I would like to clarify that Patrizio Polisca’s five-year term of service as director of the Vatican Health Services has ended. A rotation (of directors) is to be considered normal, based on regulations for directorial lay personnel in the Holy See and Vatican City. He will continue his invaluable service as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s personal physician and will continue to reside in the Vatican.”

Journalists had speculated that Dr. Polisca had been “ousted” from the Vatican when he allegedly learned in May that his service would end at the end of July. A new director is expected to be named soon. According to Fr. Lombardi, “We shall wait and see which doctor will accompany the Pope on his trip to Cuba and the United States in September.”


From L’Osservatore Romano: Less than 24 hours after registration opened for next year’s World Youth Day (WYD), 45,000 people had already signed up. The first to register was Pope Francis himself who had previously announced that the theme of the meeting would revolve around mercy. According to the website’s managers, thus far there are 250 “macrogroups” and 300 volunteers signed up. The countdown to the event is already surrounded by great enthusiasm. In exactly one year — from 26 to 31 July 2016 — young people will meet in Krakow for the 31st WYD.

Twenty five years after its start, WYD will return to Poland, the land of the Pontiff who created it. Even if Pope Wojtyła loved to say that “it was the young people themselves who invented WYD”. In 1991 in Częstochowa, a strong wind of faith was announced to the young people and from them the faith blew beyond the iron curtain. The young Christians of eastern and western Europe experienced the first large-scale encounter after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Pope Wojtyła returned to his homeland for WYD which saw the participation of more than one million people.

A true jubilee of young people will be celebrated on a global level. Pope Francis recalled this at the Angelus and Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, also underlined it in a message published on the dicastery’s website. The theme of WYD is “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” is part of the extraordinary holy year which will begin on 8 December. WYD in Krakow will complete a three part series of themes dedicated to the Beatitudes. The theme in Rio in 2014 was “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This year’s theme for the 30th WYD on the diocesan level is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”.