VATICAN CITY - Cold indifference to migrants, the poor, the hungry and the persecuted must be overcome through the warmth of mercy, which can transform people into artisans of peace, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - The best thing parents can pass on to their children is their religious faith, Pope Francis said as he baptized 26 babies.

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VATICAN CITY - Being ministers of God's mercy, church members overcome "prejudice and rigidity," taking risks like Jesus did in order to heal and to save, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - True love comes from God and is expressed through his mercy and forgiveness, not through sentimental expressions that can easily vanish, Pope Francis said.

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January 7, 2016

To the point

At a recent ordination of a bishop, Pope Francis shared his secrets for success. He advised the bishop to be a disciple of mercy and patience — and short homilies.

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VATICAN CITY - In his first video prayer message of the year, Pope Francis asked people to join him in praying that interreligious dialogue lead to "peace and justice."

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Pope Francis warned against false spirituality and worldliness saying many people appear to be spiritual but live in a way that is totally detached from the presence or needs of others. He stressed that works of mercy are at the heart of our faith in God and the visible sign of that faith. The Pope was speaking at his first Mass at the Santa Marta residence since the Christmas break.

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VATICAN CITY - Go out and seek the signs God is offering everyone today that will lead to Christ, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the place where his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, created the world's first Nativity scene.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis erected a new Syro-Malankara eparchy for the United States and Canada. The pope also named Bishop Thomas Eusebios Naickamparambil, who served as the apostolic exarch for Syro-Malankaran Catholics in the United States, as its first bishop.

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VATICAN CITY - God's ability to forgive "knows no limits" as his mercy frees people from bitterness and despair, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY - The gift of mercy is a light that helps Christians reflect on the past year and radiates hope at the start of the new year, Pope Francis said.

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Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass on New Year's Day, the Solemnity of the Mother of God, in St. Peter's Basilica. Below, please find the full text of the official English translation of his prepared remarks.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for abolishing the death penalty worldwide, lifting the burden of debt on poor nations, global aid policies that respect life and revamped laws that welcome and integrate migrants.

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VATICAN CITY - Singing is good for one's soul and, as St. Augustine says, Christian life is not a sad path but a joyous one that is done "singing and walking," Pope Francis said.

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