20 International News

posted Oct 3, 2018, 9:35 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 3, 2018, 9:35 AM ]

Vatican
Pope close to those hit by tsunami

Pope Francis is close to "the populations of the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, hit by a strong tidal wave." Before the Angelus prayer on Sept. 30, the pontiff recalled the recent tragedy, which has left almost 400 victims, hundreds of injured and extensive damage to infrastructure.

The Pope said he prayed for the dead "who are numerous, for the injured and for those who have lost their homes and their jobs. May the Lord console them and support the efforts of those who are trying to bring help." He invited all those present to recite a Hail Mary with this intention.

Pope Francis had commented on the passage from the day's Gospel, which narrates the teaching of Jesus to the disciples who wanted to forbid a man to expel the demons in his name, not being one of the disciples. Jesus instead allows him to do it.

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Pray Rosary to preserve Church against attacks by the Devil

Pope Francis has invited all the faithful across the world to pray a Holy Rosary daily during the entire Marian month of October.

According to the Press Office communique, the Holy Father wants all to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect the Church from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from one another.

Before his departure for the Baltic States, the Holy Father met with Fr Fréderic Fornos, SJ, international director of the World Network of Prayer for the Pope, and asked him to spread this appeal to all the faithful throughout the world, inviting them to conclude the recitation of the Rosary with the ancient invocation Sub Tuum Praesidium, and with the prayer to Saint Michael Archangel that he protect us and help us in the struggle against evil (cf. Revelation 12, 7-12).

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Pope's visit to Baltic nations

Pope Francis dedicated the reflection of his General Audience (Sept. 26) to his apostolic journey to the Baltic nations, September 22-25. He said he visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, on the occasion of the centenary of their independence. They lived half of the 100 years under the yoke of occupation; first under the Nazis, and then under Soviet rule.

The Holy Father expressed his gratitude to the Presidents and civil authorities of the three nations for the welcome given him. He also thanked the bishops and all those who helped to prepare and implement the ecclesial event.

Pope Francis noted that his visit took place in a context that has greatly changed since the visit of his predecessor 25 years ago, soon after the three countries regained their independence from Soviet rule. Hence his mission was to proclaim once again to those people the joy of the Gospel and the revolution of mercy, of tenderness, because freedom is not enough to give meaning and fullness to life without the love that comes from God. The Pope noted that the Gospel, which in times of trial gives strength and animates the struggle for freedom, becomes in the time of freedom the light for the daily journey of individuals, families, societies, and is salt that gives flavour to ordinary life and preserves it from the corruption of mediocrity and selfishness.

The Pope noted that in Lithuania, Catholics are the majority, while in Latvia and Estonia, Lutherans and Orthodox prevail, but many have moved away from religious life. So the challenge is to strengthen the communion among all Christians which already developed during the harsh period of persecution. In fact, the Pope stressed that the ecumenical dimension was intrinsic to this journey, and found expression in the moment of prayer in the Cathedral of Riga and in the meeting with young people in Tallinn.

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