30 International News

posted Jan 22, 2019, 1:34 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 22, 2019, 1:34 AM ]

Pope prays for Colombia and Mediterranean victims

Pope Francis said during the Sunday Angelus (on Jan. 20) he had two sorrows in his heart—Colombia and the Mediterranean. He said, "I'm thinking of the 170 shipwrecked victims in the Mediterranean. They were looking for a future for their lives. Victims, perhaps, of human traffickers. We pray for them and for those responsible for what has happened." The UNHCR says there were two separate Mediterranean shipwrecks. >>>


St Peter's Square turns into a farm for feast of St Anthony the Abbot

St Peter's Square was transformed into a mini farm with cows, rabbits, sheep and chickens. It even finished off with a horse parade to celebrate St Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of animals.

For 12 years, livestock farmers from various regions of Italy have brought their animals to the Vatican to receive the blessing. "I am here because today is the feast of St Anthony, the protector of animals. It's an honour to come to Rome, to St Peter's Square today, because he is also our protector. St Anthony not only protects the animals, but even the cattle rancher."

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Pope urges Asian Church to promote unity and integrity of faith

Pope Francis has urged pastors of the Asian Church to foster cooperation and fraternal exchange and to reaffirm their common responsibility in promoting the unity and integrity of the Catholic faith in their vastly diverse continent.

His words of encouragement came in a message to the participants in a meeting of the Presidents of Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences of Asia, taking place from January 15 to 18, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.


'Click to Pray' with the Pope

Pope Francis swiped a tablet on Sunday, Jan. 20 to launch a new app, allowing the faithful to pray with him. He presented the Vatican's latest digital platform, known as the 'Worldwide Network of Prayer with the Pope', during his traditional Sunday address to tens of thousands of people in St Peter's Square.

The new app, called Click to Pray, will inform the user what the leader of the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics is praying for, such as world peace or the population of a country hit by a natural disaster, so they can join him.


Migrants die in Mediterranean

According to media reports, an Italian military pilot spotted one dinghy sinking in rough seas on Jan. 18. Soon after, the plane dropped two safety rafts into the water, but had to leave due to a shortage of petrol. Then, a naval helicopter rescued three people who were suffering from severe hypothermia.

The survivors said they had left Libya as part of a group of 120 people, mainly from Africa. They told how the boats started to sink 10 hours into their journey, resulting in countless deaths; a follow-up rescue operation failed to find survivors.