24 International News

posted May 18, 2017, 7:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated May 18, 2017, 7:44 AM ]

Fatima reminds us to care for the faith of children - Pope

Pope Francis reflected on the May 13 canonisation of the child visionaries, St Francisco and Jacinta Marto, saying that their faithfulness, despite their young age, reminds us to pay special attention to children in the ministry of the Church.

"In Fatima, the Virgin chose the innocent hearts and the simplicity of little Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia, as guardians of her message. These children received it worthily, so to be recognised as reliable witnesses to the apparitions, and to become models of Christian life."

"With the canonisation of Francisco and Jacinta, I wanted to propose to the whole Church their example of adherence to Christ and of evangelical witness, and I also wanted to propose to the whole Church to take care of children," he said on May 14.

The holiness of these children is not a consequence of the apparitions they received, he said, but of the "fidelity and ardour with which they returned the privilege they 

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Pope: Mary, Queen of Peace

To the tens of thousands of faithful gathered in St Peter's Square, the Pope recalled the violence and suffering that continue in Syria, Iraq and Yemen: "Many innocent people are severely tried, both Christian and Muslim, and belonging to minorities like the Yazidis, who suffer tragic violence and discrimination. My solidarity accompanies them in prayer, while I thank those who are committed to helping humanitarian needs. I encourage the various communities to travel the path of dialogue and social friendship to build a future of respect, security and peace."

"I entrust to Mary, Queen of Peace, the fate of people affected by wars and conflicts, especially in the Middle East," said Pope Francis after the Regina Coeli prayer, the first after his return from the pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Fatima on May 12-13.

Earlier, the pontiff explained the meaning of his journey to Fatima, on the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherds Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, and where he also canonised the two children - the first to be declared saints without being martyrs. 

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S. Korea
Seoul celebrates Fatima centenary

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparition in Fatima, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul has asked Catholics to pray the Rosary for peace on the Korean peninsula and in the world.

Cardinal Yeom released a special pastoral letter on May 2 on the anniversary of the Marian apparition, saying, "Let's pray the Rosary for peace in the Korean peninsula and the world everyday. We should think over the messages of Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherds in Fatima 100 years ago. Even before the apparition in Fatima, many popes stressed the meaning of the Rosary." 

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Japan
Bishops revise message on life

The Japanese bishops have published an updated version of their 2001 message expressing their thoughts regarding "life."

Some 95,000 copies of the first message, Reverence for Life: A Message for the Twenty-First Century from the Catholic Bishops of Japan, were issued since its publication in 2001.

In their new message, tentatively titled in English, Reverence for Life: A New Look, the bishops say, "in giving priority to economic efficiency and social position, (Japanese) society is losing sight of human connections and mutual support."

They continue, "We are convinced that something is wrong, that there is something more important. We hope that this message will serve those who share that unease as a clue about how to think of life."

Auxiliary Bishop Kazuo Koda of Tokyo, chairman of the working group charged with revising the message, told an April 28 gathering of Catholic school directors and leaders of religious orders and mission societies, "The first message was based on data up to 1999. In the 16 years since then, the circumstances surrounding life have changed significantly in society. So the bishops thought the message needed to be revised."

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MONGOLIA
Church celebrates 25 years

"2017 marks a historic step for the Catholic Church in Mongolia and the Apostolic Prefecture of Ulaanbaatar. In fact, we celebrate a double anniversary: the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Mongolia; and the 25th anniversary of the Catholic Church's presence, with the renewed start of the mission in a country which has just gotten out of the socialist system," said Bishop Wenceslao S. Padilla, CICM, Apostolic Prefect and one of the pioneers of the Catholic mission in Mongolia.

"With over 1,300 Mongolians baptised, and a native priest, there is reason to rejoice here," said African missionary Prosper Mbumba, CICM, emphasising the abundant fruits of this missionary work. The Catholic community counts hundreds of catechumens that come from six parishes and three missionary stations that will be erected parishes in 2017, the year of the celebration of the Silver Jubilee. 

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