26 International News

posted Mar 27, 2019, 9:46 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Mar 27, 2019, 9:46 PM ]

Pope: Mary's House a home for youth, families, sick

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto on Monday, March 25, to mark the Feast of the Annunciation. Tradition holds that the Virgin Mary lived within the relocated walls housed in the Sanctuary, and there received the Angel's message of the Annunciation. Following Mass, the Holy Father spoke to the 10,000-strong crowd of the faithful gathered in the square in front of the Basilica.

Pope Francis said the Sanctuary is "a privileged place to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God," since it is "the house of Mary." Pope Francis said the House of Mary in Loreto is also a home for the family. "In the delicate situation of today's world," he said, "the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman assumes an essential importance and mission." Within those walls, the Pope said, Mary lived out the many facets that characterise family relationships, "as a daughter, fiancée and mother," saying that her experience shows that the Church must care for families and young people in tandem, and not separately.


Pope signs Apostolic Exhortation to young people

On the Feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Exhortation for the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. "Christus vivit – Christ lives" is a letter to the world's young people that represents the fruit of the October 3-28, 2018 Synod.

The Basilica of the Holy House in Loreto contains the walls of what tradition holds to be the house in which the Virgin Mary lived when the Angel Gabriel announced that she was to give birth to Jesus.

During his visit to Loreto, Pope Francis spoke about the Exhortation, and explained that there are three sections to the document, which mirror three phases of the Synod process. To explain this further, he outlined this process, whilst referencing the story of the Annunciation.


Pope prays for victims of violence

Pope Francis appealed to mediators involved in political talks in Nicaragua on Sunday, March 24, to find a peaceful solution to the socio-political crisis enveloping the nation. Telling the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer, that "since February 27, Nicaragua has been holding important talks to resolve the serious socio-political crisis in which the country finds itself," the Pope said he is praying for the initiative, and he encouraged the parties involved "to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of all."


Franciscan monk named world's best teacher

A Franciscan monk who gives away most of his earnings to the poor has been handed a prize for the world's best teacher. Peter Tabichi won the $1 million (£760,000) Global Teacher Prize for 2019 on March 23, beating 10,000 nominations from 179 countries. He received the prize at a ceremony in Dubai, hosted by Hollywood star Hugh Jackman. The Dubai-based Varkey Foundation, which organises the event and handed out the prize for the fifth time, praised Tabichi's 'dedication, hard work and passionate belief in his students' talent'.

The Maths and Physics teacher, who works at a secondary school in a remote village in Kenya's Rift Valley, gives away 80 per cent of his monthly income to the poor, organisers said. The 39-year-old educator was praised for his achievements in the deprived school with crowded classes and few text books.

Tabichi, or Brother Peter as he is also known, said: "It's not all about money. Every day in Africa, we turn a new page and a new chapter… This prize does not recognise me, but recognises this great continent's young people. I am only here because of what my students have achieved. This prize gives them a chance. It tells the world that they can do anything," he added, after beating nine finalists from around the world to claim the award.

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Priest stabbed during Mass

Fr Claude Grou is out of hospital, and grateful for the groundswell of support he received after he was stabbed by an assailant, while celebrating a televised Mass at St Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, Friday morning, March 22.The 77-year-old priest said in a statement that the words of support he had received "warm my heart, and allow me to contemplate these difficult moments peacefully." He said he was in good health and still processing the Friday attack, CBC News reports.