22 International News

posted Jan 4, 2019, 8:21 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 4, 2019, 8:22 AM ]

Pope Francis' Christmas message

During his homily on Christmas Eve, Pope Francis spoke about the need for everyone to strive towards living a life of greater simplicity. He reflected on how Christ shows the way to overcome the excessive consumerism and selfishness that is ever present in society today.

"The tiny Child of Bethlehem speaks to us of a new way to live our lives: not by devouring and hoarding, but by sharing and giving. Standing before the manger, we understand that the food of life is not material riches, but love; not gluttony, but charity; not ostentation, but simplicity."


Pope's contribution to Indonesian tsunami relief

Pope Francis is sending an initial contribution to the relief operations for the people hit by the devastating tsunami in Indonesia, the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said recently.


Pope prays for victims of Egypt bus attack

A roadside bomb hit a tourist bus on Dec. 28 near the Giza Pyramids, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide. The bus was in the Marioutiyah area near the pyramids when the roadside bomb, which was hidden by a wall, went off. The blast wounded 11 other Vietnamese tourists, as well as the Egyptian driver.

Pope Francis said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the recent bomb attack near Giza". The message came in a telegram to Egypt's President, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi.


Cardinal Parolin's Christmas in Iraq

Pope Francis asked his right-hand man to travel to Iraq to spend Christmas there. Cardinal Pietro Parolin spent a total of four days in Iraq, attending both political and religious meetings. He even met with President Barham Salih.


Panama WYD-ready

The Christmas Mass at the Vatican was special for WYD; two Panamanian children participated in the procession of the Pope with the Child Jesus. It was the last gesture marking the final preparations for WYD in Rome and in the Vatican.

December was a very Panamanian month in the Vatican. For example, during the Pope's Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, two young women and a girl in traditional Panamanian clothes presented the offerings to the Pope. Panama also sponsored the exhibition '100 Nativity Scenes' with some of the most beautiful Nativities from across the world. The opening ceremony was accompanied by the singing of the WYD anthem and several Panamanian Christmas carols.


Prayers continue for Fr Gigi

"In Niamey, the capital of the country, during the celebrations, prayers continue for the release of Fr Gigi who has been in the hands of his kidnappers for three months. At the end of each Mass, celebrated in the communities of the diocese of Niamey, a prayer is recited. Hope does not die," said Fr Vito Girotto, of the Society for African Missions in Niger. "I had to leave the parish after the kidnapping of Fr Gigi Maccalli, and come to Niamey."


Pope Francis' Christmas visit to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope Francis visited Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018, to personally give his Christmas greetings to the Pontiff Emeritus at his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican City. In recent visits for Christmas, the Pope and Pope Emeritus pray briefly together and speak briefly afterward.