A PAPAL SUNDAY: A CULTURE OF LIFE, A CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER, A WORLD OF PEACE – WORLD DAY OF SICK TO BE CELEBRATED FEBRUARY 11 AT LOURDES

A PAPAL SUNDAY: A CULTURE OF LIFE, A CULTURE OF ENCOUNTER, A WORLD OF PEACE

Just nine days after he sent a message to organizers and participants in the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Pope Francis on Sunday at the Angelus marked Italy’s Day for Life by focusing on creating a culture of life and protecting life at all stages. He called on the faithful to join Italian bishops in promoting a culture of life in which “no one is left alone.….each life is sacred. … So let’s pray together for those children who risk a pregnancy termination and for those who are nearing the end of life. may no one be left alone and may love defend the sense of life.”

Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square after the recitation of the Marian prayer, Francis urged all believers to respond to “the logic of waste and demographic downturn” by upholding and promoting a “culture of life.” Quoting Saint Teresa of Calcutta who said, “life is beauty, admire it; life is life, fight for it,” the Pope stressed that is true for the child about to be born and for the person who is about to die as “every life is sacred!”

Sunday was also America’s greatest sports celebration – the Super Bowl. How many people know that Pope Francis sent a video message to Super Bowl athletes and fans, saying great sporting events like this annual championship game are “highly symbolic and show that it is possible to build a culture of encounter and a world of peace. By participating in sport, we are able to go beyond our own self-interest – and in a healthy way – we learn to sacrifice, to grow in fidelity and respect the rules. may this year’s super bowl be a sign of peace, friendship and solidarity to the world.”

WORLD DAY OF SICK TO BE CELEBRATED FEBRUARY 11 AT LOURDES

Officials from the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development held a press conference today in the Holy See Press Office to present the 25th World Day of the Sick to be held in Lourdes, France on February 11. They also presented the New Charter for Healthcare Workers.

Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu, secretary of this Dicastery explained that the World Day of the Sick was instituted by St. John Paul II in 1992 and, on this 25th anniversary, it will be celebrated in an extraordinary way, at Pope Francis’ behest. Among the many figures who will attend the event in Lourdes on February 11, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin will be present as papal legate, and will celebrate the solemn Mass on the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin to Bernadette Soubirous.

The new Charter was then presented. It was defined as a revision and updating of the previous Charter for Healthcare Workers, the theological, moral and medical “vademecum” that resulted from an intuition of the first president of the former pontifical council, Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini and was translated into 19 languages and was for twenty years a basic text for healthcare workers.

Msgr. Musivi Mupendawatu also noted Pope Francis’ Message for the upcoming 25th anniversary, saying its theme is “Amazement at what God has accomplished: ‘The Almighty has done great things for me…’” (Luke 1:49).

To read the entire summary of the press conference: http://www.news.va/en/news/vatican-presents-25th-world-day-of-sick-new-charte

 

 

Advertisements

POPE HAS SPECIAL WORDS FOR AUSCHWITZ SURVIVORS, A STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL AND CANINE “ATHLETES” – VATICAN HOSTS GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON FAITH AND SPORTS

POPE HAS SPECIAL WORDS FOR AUSCHWITZ SURVIVORS, A STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL AND CANINE “ATHLETES”

After his general audience catechesis this morning, which focused on the highlights of his recent three-day trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan, Pope Francis had a number of special greetings for certain groups attending the weekly audience. Among the 25,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope saluted the “Vivere da Sportivi” Association (Living a Sporting Life). The Association is holding a “School of Fair Play” activity this week in Rome, which brings together secondary school students from all over Italy for a film festival showing student-made video projects exploring themes of integration and fair play, solidarity, and the Olympic spirit.

The Holy Father also had special words for former prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp during his greetings to Polish-speaking pilgrims at the end of the general audience. “Today we celebrate the memory of St. Faustina Kowalska. She reminded the world that God is rich in mercy and that His love is more powerful than death, sin and every evil. May this message of the Merciful Jesus, entrusted to her, bear fruit in your life with a deeper union with God and the works of mercy. Entrusting to the Lord ourselves and the difficult problems of the world, we frequently repeat: ‘Jesus, I trust in you!’. Praised be Jesus Christ.”

And then – a surprise greeting for “canine athletes”! Pope Francis often meets with athletes throughout the year– he is known to be a huge soccer fan – and at today’s audience he welcomed “canine athletes”! In fact, he spoke briefly with members of the “Federazione Italiana Sport Cinofili,” which is the Italian Federation dealing with “dog sports,” which test a canine’s agility and obedience. The Pope blessed the animals, petting many of the dogs, and shook hands with their trainers, mentioning the group by name during the audience.

dog-athletes

VATICAN HOSTS GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON FAITH AND SPORTS

The first ever global conference on Faith and Sport opened today in the Vatican on the theme ‘Sport at the Service of Humanity.’ Leading figures from the world of sport, religion and culture are among those attending the 3-day conference hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture with the special support of the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee.

Pope Francis presided over the conference’s opening ceremony this afternoon in the Paul VI Hall, including special guests U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Thomas Bach, president of the IOC.

In addition to discussing how faith and sport can work together, the Vatican conference aims to launch a movement to develop – through sport – life skills, character, values and enjoyment of life, inspiring people to live in accordance with six principles: compassion, respect, love, enlightenment, balance and joy. Participants will be focusing in particular on how to use the benefits of sport to empower and help the poor and disadvantaged.

Two years ago, in an inspirational message to sports figures, Pope Francis said, “Challenge yourself in the game of life, as you do in the game of sport.” These brief words became the starting point for “Sport at the Service of Humanity” and its vision: bringing together global leaders and influential people from different faiths and from the worlds of sport and business to produce positive, actionable results on society.

The conference has been organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture under the leadership of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and includes leaders of the major religious traditions.

“Authentic sport is an expression of a fundamental category of the human person,” said Cardinal Ravasi at a press conference. “It is a free manifestation of creativity, fantasy and potential. This noble activity can degenerate through well-known devastating elements. But sport, in its origins as today, is part of the educational and personal growing process that can bring eurythmia (harmony) between body and soul”.