What’s in a number? Pope Celestine V was 85 when he resigned the papacy after five months in December 1294. Pope Benedict was 85 when he resigned the papacy in February 2013 (he turned 86 that April 16th). Pope Francis turned 85 last December.
This probably does not mean a thing but it is interesting.
POPE FRANCIS VISITS ACADEMY THAT TRAINS VATICAN DIPLOMATS
From Holy See Press Office this afternoon: “Yesterday afternoon, June 8, Pope Francis visited the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, chatting with the students of the institute. During the conversation, the Pope underlined the importance of being rooted in a priestly spirituality nourished by prayer, as well as the role of the missionary year he wanted as an integral part of the journey of preparation, He indicated as models of holiness for the diplomatic life St. Charles de Foucauld and Saint Peter Favre. At the end of the visit, the Pope returned to the Vatican.”
YAD VASHEM CHAIRMAN: POPE IS FRIEND AND ALLY IN FIGHT AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM
Pope Francis received in audience Dani Dayan, chairman of the Yad Vashem (World Holocaust Remembrance Center) in Jerusalem, and reiterated his commitment to help fight anti-Semitism.
By Cecilia Mutual & Linda Bordoni
Dani Dayan believes that another step forward was taken on Thursday morning in the fight against anti-Semitism. Speaking to Vatican Radio immediately after meeting in the Vatican with Pope Francis, the Chairman of Yad Vashem described the Pope as a friend and an ally in the mission to defeat anti-Semitism.
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, is universally recognized as the ultimate source for Holocaust education, documentation and research.
Pope Francis visited Yad Vashem in 2014 during his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. During his speech there, he implored the Lord to “grant us the grace to be ashamed of what men have done,” and cried out “Never again, Lord, never again!”
Noting that he is the first Yad Vashem chairman to be received in a private audience with the Pope, Dayan revealed that the two men share Buenos Aires as their birthplace and were happy to be able to converse in their native Spanish. Yad Vashem Chairman: Pope is friend and ally in fight against anti-Semitism – Vatican News
POPE TO SICILIAN PRIESTS: ‘EMBRACE BITTERNESS WITH TENDERNESS’
Pope Francis met with the bishops and priests of the Italian island of Sicily, and urged them to draw near and show tenderness to the many Sicilians who taste bitterness and disappointment due to a lack of employment opportunities.
By Devin Watkins
The bishops and priests of Sicily met with Pope Francis on Thursday in the Vatican, who encouraged them in their mission to lift up their compatriots. The Pope noted that the Italian island has historically acted as a waypoint for the movement of peoples, who sometimes came as conquerors and at other times as migrants. Each wave of people has left their mark on the local culture.
“This is not to say that it is a happy island, because the condition of insularity profoundly affects Sicilian society, bringing to the fore the contradictions we carry within ourselves. In Sicily we witness attitudes and actions marked by great virtues as well as cruel brutality.”
Pope Francis lamented that many children avoid schooling and turn to a life of crime as a result of high youth unemployment rates, which hover near 50 percent.
Priests as courageous moral guides
In response to this difficult situation, Pope Francis urged the priests and bishops of Sicily to dedicate themselves “completely and exclusively” to proclaiming the Gospel of Christ in the midst of an epochal change.
He pointed to the heroic examples of Blessed Pino Puglisi and Blessed Rosario Livatino, as well as to other lesser-known servants of the Church who sought to push back against the mafia and show Christ’s love to Sicilians.
“This is why people in Sicily still look to priests as spiritual and moral guides, as people who can help improve the civil and social life of the island, support families, and be a point-of-reference for young people. Sicilians have a high and demanding expectation of priests.”
“The current situation in Sicily has been in decline for years,” he said. “One sign is the depopulation of the island, due to low birth rates and mass emigration of young people” who leave to find work elsewhere. Pope to Sicilian priests: ‘Embrace bitterness with tenderness’ – Vatican News