VATICAN INSIDER: “INSIDE” THE EWTN ROME BUREAU – POPE FRANCIS IN AFRICA: SOUTH SUDAN, “AN ECUMENICAL PILGRIMAGE OF PEACE”

Today is the feast of St. Blaise (also Blase). Have you had your throat blessed yet?

VATICAN INSIDER: “INSIDE” THE EWTN ROME BUREAU

This week, in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider,” I present Part II of a real

‘insider’ story – a conversation with Alexey Gotovsky, my multi lingual, multi talented colleague from Kazakhstan in the EWTN Rome Office. Last week you learned about his childhood in a country flanked by India, China and Russia and heard about his road to Rome and EWTN. And now, the rest of Alexey’s story including his trip to his native Kazakhstan with Pope Francis!

I could tell so many similar, interesting stories if my only interviews were with the staff of our Rome bureau and other EWTN offices throughout Europe – amazing, talented, very bright people who, on screen or behind the scenes in video and audio editing studios, bring you into the Catholic Church and bring the Church to you!

Here we are in one of our audio studios –

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE FRANCIS IN AFRICA: SOUTH SUDAN, “AN ECUMENICAL PILGRIMAGE OF PEACE”

After bidding farewell to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis’ flight landed in Juba, South Sudan, for his long-awaited “ecumenical pilgrimage” for peace to South Sudan with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields. The Pope’s flight landed at Juba International Airport at 2:45 PM local time. …For years, Pope Francis has expressed his strong desire to travel to predominantly-Christian South Sudan, but the unstable situation in the country, along with the pandemic, complicated plans for a visit.

Elias Turk – EWTN:

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In April 2019, the Pope hosted a spiritual retreat in the Vatican for the political leaders and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan. At the retreat in the Casa Santa Marta, he knelt at their feet and begged them to work for peace and to be worthy fathers of their nation. The Holy Father will stay in the nation’s capital of Juba, and will have meetings with various Church and civil groups, including several internally displaced people. Following a Mass for the country’s faithful on Sunday morning, Pope Francis will return to Rome. Pope Francis arrives in South Sudan for ‘ecumenical pilgrimage’ – Vatican News

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER: A ROME BUREAU STORY – POPE FRANCIS TO ROMAN ROTA: ALL TRUE MARRIAGE IS A GIFT

VATICAN INSIDER: A ROME BUREAU STORY

This week, in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider,” I present a real ‘insider’ story – that of my colleague in the EWTN Rome bureau, Alexey Gotovsky who hails from Kazakhstan. Learn about his childhood in a country flanked by India, China and Russia and hear about his road to Rome and EWTN.

I could tell so many similar, interesting stories if my only interviews were with the staff of our Rome bureau and other EWTN offices throughout Europe – amazing, talented, very bright people who, on screen or behind the scenes in video and audio editing studios, bring you into the Catholic Church and bring the Church to you!

Here we are in one of our audio studios –

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE FRANCIS TO ROMAN ROTA: ALL TRUE MARRIAGE IS A GIFT

In his address to the Roman Rota for the opening of the judicial year, Pope Francis says proclaiming the “Gospel of the Family” is one of the essential tasks of the Church.

By Christopher Wells (Vatican news)

There is a “strong need” in the Church and in the world, “to rediscover the meaning and value of the conjugal union between man and woman on which the family is founded,” Pope Francis said on Friday.

Addressing the auditors of the Roman Rota at the beginning of the Church’s judicial year, the Holy Father said the Church has the mission to proclaim the Good News, which includes “illuminating and sustaining the ‘great mystery that is conjugal and family love.’”

Marriage is a gift

The Pope explained that, according to Christian revelation, marriage is more than a ceremony or social event; it is not a mere formality or an abstract ideal, but instead “is a reality with its own precise consistency.”

Given that reality, and the fact that marriage takes place between real men and women with all their limitations and failings, the Pope asked how marriages can be engaging, faithful, and permanent.

The answer, he said, lies in the fact that all true marriages, even non-sacramental marriages, are a gift from God to the spouses.

“Marriage is always a gift! Conjugal fidelity rests on divine fidelity; conjugal fruitfulness rests on divine fruitfulness.”

For this reason, marriage cannot “be reduced to a sentimental plane or to mere selfish satisfactions,” that is, one must reject the idea that a marriage lasts only so long as romantic love does.

Instead, Pope Francis said, “marital love is inseparable from marriage itself, in which fragile and limited human love meets divine love, which is always faithful and merciful.”

We can fulfill Jesus’ command that we “love one another” – which also pertains to marriage – because “it is He Himself who sustains spouses with His grace.”

Marriage is good

Having elaborated on marriage as a gift from God, Pope Francis went on to emphasize that marriage is good – and, in fact, “a good of extraordinary value for everyone,” not just spouses and children, but other families, the Church, and the whole world.

He also emphasized that, “in the Christian economy of salvation, marriage constitutes first and foremost the high road to holiness, a holiness lived out in ordinary life.”

This, the Pope said, “is an essential aspect of the Gospel of the family.”

Turning to the question of marriages in crisis, Pope Francis said the Church must accompany spouses facing difficulties with love and support. The Church’s pastoral response, he said, must involve helping renew the awareness of marriage as an “irrevocable gift.” Without ignoring the contributions of social sciences, this “light on one’s marriage is an essential part of the journey of reconciliation” within marriages.

The Pope recognized that marriage always involves “fragility” – but, he said, “with the help of the Holy Spirit,” difficulties in married life need not lead to a definitive rupture.

 

VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES BACK FR. CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

If you’ve been to Italy and had some of its fabulous coffee (in one of many forms and combinations), you will love this story. Even if you haven’t been to Italy, you’ll love this story! How Italy came to be Europe’s coffee capital (thelocal.it)

Why else should you come to Italy? Well, here’s why: Rome is world’s top food destination: Tripadvisor – Wanted in Rome

VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES BACK FR. CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

In this week’s interview segment, Vatican Insider welcomes back Fr. Christopher Pearson, pastor of Most Precious Blood parish in London. As I mentioned last week in Part I of our conversation, we’ve been friends for over a dozen years, as you will hear in the amusing start of our conversation, and Fr. Christopher was in Rome to concelebrate at the January 5 funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

What links us in friendship is one of Pope Benedict’s major achievements – the creation in 2009 of the Personal Ordinariate, a canonical structure within the Catholic Church established to enable “groups of Anglicans” to join the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. Fr. Chris was an Anglican pastor for 15 years and talks about his becoming a Catholic priest. He highlights Benedict’s great desire for Christian Unity, citing the Ordinariate as one example of how that can be achieved.

Fr. Christopher, Maggie McDaniel of Catholic Faith Journeys and I shared a great meal at Taverna Agape while they were in Rome.  Fr. Chris was in Rome to concelebrate Pope emeritus Benedict’s funeral Mass.

Fr. Christopher is always a total delight to be with and you always learn a great deal from him. I am blessed that we are friends! And now Maggie knows him – maybe she’ll do a pilgrimage to the UK and the Ordinariate of Walsingham!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

UPDATE WITH PHOTOS: VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES FR. CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

You might enjoy this brief Rome Reports video on Cardinal Pell. Remember him in your prayers as his funeral is celebrated tomorrow in St. Peter’s: Keys: George Pell, cardinal who acted “with determination, wisdom” according to Pope | ROME REPORTS

VATICAN INSIDER WELCOMES FR. CHRISTOPHER PEARSON

Lots of news this weekend on Vatican Insider (as there always seems to be!), and also a special guest on the interview segment, Fr. Christopher Pearson – pastor of Most Precious Blood parish in London. We’ve been friends for over a dozen years, as you will hear in the amusing start of our conversation, and Fr. Christopher was in Rome to concelebrate at the January 5 funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

What links us is one of Pope Benedict’s major achievements – the creation in 2009 of the Personal Ordinariate, a canonical structure within the Catholic Church established to enable “groups of Anglicans” to join the Catholic Church while preserving elements of their liturgical and spiritual patrimony. Fr. Chris was an Anglican pastor for 15 years and talks about his becoming a Catholic priest. He highlights Benedict’s great desire for Christian Unity, citing the Ordinariate as one example of how that can be achieved.

Fr. Christopher, Maggie McDaniel of Catholic Faith Journeys and I shared a great meal at Taverna Agape while they were in Rome.

Fr. Christopher is a total delight to be with and you always learn a great deal from him. I am blessed that we are friends! And now Maggie knows him – maybe she’ll do a pilgrimage to the UK and the Ordinariate of Walsingham!

I decided to add two photos of the mug Fr. Christopher brought from London:

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH THE MAKERS OF “THE CHOSEN”

It is been one amazing week here in Rome, as all of you know! Time away from my office (and laptop) for television and other commitments did not always allow me to post a blog every day but I did post a lot images and videos on my Facebook page (facebook.com/joan.lewis.10420).

That includes a lot of color from Rome today where the Epiphany, a Vatican and Italian holiday, is celebrated in a major way, starting with the papal Mass in the basilica, followed by the Angelus, and all of this in the framework of marching bands, flag throwers from around Italy, mostly Umbria and Tuscany, hundreds of Italians dressed in period costumes, and the arrival of the Three Kings on horseback!

An estimated 60,000 plus pilgrims filled the square today, as well as Pza. Pio XII, adjacent to St. Peter’s Square and Via della Conciliazione.

So, if you want a review of what happened these days, visit me on FB and Twitter. And feel free to share!

VATICAN INSIDER TALKS WITH THE MAKERS OF “THE CHOSEN”

Not having much time to prepare a full “Vatican Insider” with news and a new interview, we’ve put together a “Best Of Vatican Insider” and this weekend you can listen to Dallas Jenkins, producer, and Neal Harmon, founder of Angel Studios that made the film.   As you know, “The Chosen” is full into season three!

Here we are during their visit to Rome in the summer of 2021:

Enjoy!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR IN ROME AND THE VATICAN – POPE EMERITUS RESTED WELL OVERNIGHT, HEALTH SITUATION STABLE

Allow me to wish all of you who follow me – my blog readers, radio listeners and TV viewers – a happy, healthy, fulfilling, peaceful and joy-filled New Year!. May it be better in every way possible than the year we are leaving!

I’ll be back on this page – save for breaking news – on January 2, 2023! So, see you next year!

VATICAN INSIDER: CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR IN ROME AND THE VATICAN

Welcome to Vatican Insider on this Christmas and New Year’s weekend. After all, don’t forget that it is still the Christmas season! In what is usually the interview segment after the News, I have prepared what I hope is a fascinating Christmas story, a Special in which I bring you to Italy to learn how the Vatican and Rome and Italians celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. Christmastide is as wonderful here as you can imagine, and I think you’ll want to invite family members, especially children, to sit around and listen!

POPE EMERITUS RESTED WELL OVERNIGHT, HEALTH SITUATION STABLE

The Director of the Holy See Press Office on Friday said Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s health condition remains stable.

By Vatican News

In a response to questions from journalists, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, on Friday confirmed that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s health condition remains stable at this time. He added that yesterday evening Benedict XVI was able to have a good rest, and earlier in the afternoon he participated in the celebration of Mass in his room.

Vatican news file photo of Benedict XVI and his personal secretary, Abp. Georg Gaenswein –

In related news, at 5:30 pm Rome time on today, Mass was celebrated at the basilica of St. John Lateran, remembering in prayer Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and his health. Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar of the Diocese of Rome, presided over the celebration.

The Diocese of Rome encouraged “parish communities, chaplaincies, religious men and women, all the faithful of the diocese and all the men and women of good will who live in Rome,” to gather in prayer for Benedict XVI,  “remembering with gratitude the road travelled together with our bishop emeritus,” and accompanying him now “in this time of suffering and hardship, praying to the Lord that He may console him and sustain him in his witness of love for the Church until the end.”

 

VATICAN INSIDER TAKES A CHRISTMAS BREAK – POPE TO CURIA: “BE VIGILANT, EVIL COMES BACK UNDER NEW GUISES” – POPE TO VATICAN EMPLOYEES: ALWAYS CONFIDE IN THE LORD AND BUILD PEACE

VATICAN INSIDER TAKES A CHRISTMAS BREAK

EWTN will feature a Christmas Special in the time slot normally dedicated to Vatican Insider so I’ll see you all next weekend (unless there is a New Year Special!). We have tomorrow, December 23rd and Monday, the 26th, as holidays so Joan’s Rome might be a bit lite those days. However, if you have time, stay tuned because you know me – there’s often some kind of surprise!

The reason for the season –

Before I go, however, I’d like to wish all my radio listeners, TV viewers and blog readers a blessed, beautiful and holy Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year filled with many special moments and people. God sit on your shoulder!

Cheers!

POPE TO CURIA: “BE VIGILANT, EVIL COMES BACK UNDER NEW GUISES”

In his annual Christmas greeting to Officials of the Curia, Pope Francis asks them to always be grateful for the graces God grants us, to never think they are no longer in need of conversion, and to contribute to peace in every way.

Exchanging traditional Christmas greetings with members of the Roman Curia on Thursday, Pope Francis delivered a seven-point speech in which he asked them to never take the Lord’s graces for granted, to always walk a path of conversion, and to be peacemakers at a time in which we have never “felt so great a desire for peace.”

Reflecting on how Jesus’ birth in a simple and poor manger is a lesson in seeing things as they really are, he said “each of us is called to return to what is essential in our own lives, to discard all that is superfluous and a potential hindrance on the path of holiness.” To continue: Pope to Curia: ‘Be vigilant, evil comes back under new guises’ – Vatican News

POPE TO VATICAN EMPLOYEES: ALWAYS CONFIDE IN THE LORD AND BUILD PEACE

Pope Francis greets Vatican employees and their families in the Paul VI Audience Hall for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings, and urges them to build peace in their homes and workplaces.

Addressing Vatican employees with their families during his annual Christmas greetings on Thursday, Pope Francis encouraged them to face the difficulties of life with faith, and to be artisans of peace starting from their own family and workplaces within the Holy See.

The Pope started his speech, delivered in the Paul VI Audience Hall, by remarking that we should all show gratefulness to God because, with His help, we have overcome the critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that as soon as things improve, we tend to forget to even thank the Lord. “This is not Christian and not even human,” he said.

Pope Francis noted that, although this critical phase has passed, the pandemic has left its marks: not only in material and economic terms, but also on people’s lives and relationships. He, therefore, wished all families first of all “serenity” which, he said, “does not mean that all is well”, but peace of mind in facing problems or difficulties. To continue: Pope to Vatican employees: Always confide in the Lord and build peace – Vatican News

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS THE HOLY HOUSE OF LORETO

You might want to add an extra Ave Maria for Pope Francis to your prayers tomorrow when he turns 86! And this, just days after celebrating 53 years of priesthood on December 13! Heartfelt best wishes, Holy Father!

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS THE HOLY HOUSE OF LORETO

December 10th was the feast day of the Holy House of Loreto, my very favorite shrine in Italy that I’ve visited several times, and this seems like the perfect season to tell a special story about Mary’s house, the house in which she grew up.

I will tell you that, according to tradition, this Marian shrine is the home in which Mary lived, in which the Angel Gabriel appeared to her, announcing she would become the Mother of God, and the home she shared with Jesus and Joseph. It was transported to this Italian hill town overlooking the Adriatic on the night of December 10, 1294.

Tune in and you will learn exactly how it was transported to Italy!

As I prepared this Special, I felt myself leaning against the stone walls of this holy house – as I’ve done on every visit – praying to Mary, running my hands over the stones as I imagined she and Jesus and Joseph did countless times! Rarely have I been so induced to pray, so recollected in prayer, so sensing the presence of the Holy Family as I have in this holy home!

I hope you sense the awesomeness of this home as I tell its story!

The following series of photos were taken on a visit a few years back:

Outside –

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Inside – These photos include the marble “screen” designed by Bramante in which we find the Holy Houser – the screen has stunning bas reliefs. There are also photos of some of the side altars of which I speak, donated by various countries. You will also see some chalk drawings on the floor.

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My favorite art work in the basilica!

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Photos of the actual Holy House are not allowed inside but here is one from vaticannews.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

VATICAN INSIDER: TWO PRIESTS, TWO BROTHERS, TWO TALES OF MINISTRY – POPE FRANCIS TEARS UP AS HE MENTIONS UKRAINE AT MARIAN PRAYER

VATICAN INSIDER: TWO PRIESTS, TWO BROTHERS, TWO TALES OF MINISTRY

My guests this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider are two of my dearest friends, two priests, two brothers, native Chicagoans, who were both in Rome at the same time: Msgr. Michael Boland, a consultant to Catholic Charities USA following 30 magnificent years as head of Catholic Charities in the archdiocese of Chicago, and his brother Fr. Jeremiah Boland, pastor of a parish I know and love, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glenview, Illinois.

Fr. Jerry, a priest for 40 years, was in Rome on sabbatical at the North American College’s Institute of Continuing Theological Education at the same time that Msgr. Michael, a priest for 35 years, had to attend some meetings.

They are two of my most cherished friends and, as I note in our conversation, there are two things that bind us in friendship: celebration of Mass and meals! I know you will hear that friendship when we talk!

At La Vittoria – Fr. Jerry (L) – Msgr. Michael (R)

At Taverna Agape –

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

POPE FRANCIS TEARS UP AS HE MENTIONS UKRAINE AT MARIAN PRAYER

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day and holiday in the Vatican and in Italy. The Holy Father recited the Angelus at noon with thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square, and later in the afternoon visited the Spanish Steps where he laid a bouquet of flowers at the foot of the column bearing a statue of Mary Immaculate and recited a prayer for the world. Minutes into the prayer, as he mentioned Ukraine, Pope Francis’ voice cracked and he was silent and tearful for some time before resuming the prayer.

This is the Vatican video of the papal visit to Pza. di Spagna. You will see this moment at about 14:50. Below is the text of the papal prayer so you might want to click on that as you watch the video and he starts to pray. He stands at this point. Pope Francis brings the prayers of the world to Our Lady – Vatican News

Full text of Pope Francis’ prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Vatican News

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER: SERVANT OF GOD JOSEPH DUTTON: HAWAII’S THIRD SAINT?

As you may already know, the Vatican websites have been up and down for several days, and are down, in fact, as I write this column. vaticannews.va is down but vatican.va is up, although the English language site has not been updated since November 30.

A Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said Wednesday that the Holy See had taken down its main vatican.va website amid an apparent attempt to hack the site.  Without expanding on what caused the problem, he said, “Technical investigations are ongoing due to abnormal attempts to access the site.”  Numerous users online, in fact, noted that the site was unavailable as of Tuesday morning. The sites have been up and down since Wednesday afternoon, with many attempts producing “404” error messages.

The link you see below has nothing to do with what I normally bring you daily in this column but the World Cup is on, and it’s hard to ignore stories related to this global event that, every four years, mesmerizes most of the world’s population for a month!

I saw a story today that I found to be very interesting – all about the traditional Arab headgear that is taking the games by storm. It quotes one Swiss fan as saying he has “been surprised by how indulgent Qataris — and others from across North Africa and the Middle East — have been when it comes to foreigners adopting and appropriating local customs and clothing, something that is generally seen as disrespectful in Europe and North America.”

Being an American who lives in Europe, it was that soccer fan’s statement that drew my attention. I think you’ll enjoy this piece and perhaps even learn something new. It’s the World Cup’s Hot Accessory. But Should Fans Wear It? – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

VATICAN INSIDER: SERVANT OF GOD JOSEPH DUTTON: HAWAII’S THIRD SAINT?

This week, in what is normally the interview segment, I’ve prepared a Special Report on Joseph Dutton. The past two weeks, you heard Fr. John Paul Kimes of Notre Dame University, which has a large archive on Dutton, speak about this Servant of God, and I take another look at Dutton’s life this weekend.

This layman, born in Stowe, Vermont, came to the island of Molokai at the age of 44 and then for 44 years worked alongside Sts. Damien and Marianne Cope caring for the victims of leprosy who had been exiled to live here by the King of Hawaii.

As you know I am an official member of the Historical Commission for Dutton’s cause for canonization and have been doing research here in Rome in the archives of the SSCC Fathers, priests of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the Order to which St. Damien and all his successor on Kalaupapa have belonged.

The Dutton Guild ordered holy cards with a third class relic to be made in Rome.

As you can see, if you ask for and receive a favor or miracle through the intercession of   Servant of God Joseph Dutton, please write to The Joseph Dutton Guild, P.O. Box 3344, Honolulu, Hawaii 96801 (USA)

Formerly known as the Sandwich Islands, the name was changed to Hawaiian Islands in 1840. It was a kingdom under Hawaiian rulers for just over 80 years, starting in 1810. Hawaii became a U.S. State in 1959. Hawaii now has two saints. Will she soon have a third in Joseph Dutton?

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.