VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis blessed hundreds of figurines of the baby Jesus -- ranging from tiny plastic figures to life-sized statues -- and encouraged children to make sure they have Nativity scenes at home.

Published in Reflections

VATICAN CITY -- On the eve of his 83rd birthday, Pope Francis met with a group of his peers -- although many were a few years younger -- and told them that "old age is a time of grace."

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Anthony McCarten wants the truth and nothing but the truth. To get at the truth, he has made up a fictional dialogue between the Church’s two living popes.

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VATICAN CITY -- The Christmas season is a time to reflect on what life is all about, Pope Francis told an international group of performers.

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VATICAN CITY -- Celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pope Francis said she reminds Catholics of her true essence as a woman, a mother and a "mestiza" or person of mixed race.

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VATICAN CITY -- The world does not need more empty words, it needs committed, active peacemakers who do not exclude or manipulate, but are open to respectful dialogue, Pope Francis said in his annual message for the World Day of Peace Jan. 1.

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VATICAN CITY -- The saints are "the true light of the church," so before they are proposed to all Catholics for imitation and veneration, a scrupulous investigation is required, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- There always will be martyrs among Christians in the world, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Anyone who wants to experience the consolation and tenderness of God simply needs to go to confession, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis offered prayers for a summit in France that will seek to bring an end to the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.

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VATICAN CITY -- Mary, conceived without sin, is a "masterpiece" who reflects "the beauty of God who is all love, grace and self-giving," Pope Francis said on the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told Jesuits in Thailand he was "scandalized" by some of the anti-migrant rhetoric he hears in Europe, and he is convinced people are being manipulated into thinking the only way they can preserve their lifestyles is by building walls.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals reviewed aspects of the draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, including a greater role for lay men and women.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis scolded people who consider themselves practicing Christians, but who turn to fortunetelling, psychic readings and tarot cards.

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VATICAN CITY -- God makes his presence known not by those who claim to have great faith but by those who are little and humble, Pope Francis said.

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