Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

SKOPJE, North Macedonia - Pope Francis went to the tiny Balkan nation of North Macedonia to pay tribute to a tiny saint who accomplished big things: St. Teresa of Kolkata.

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Prayers for peace are important, but they must lead those praying to roll up their sleeves, reach out their hands and open their hearts, Pope Francis said at an interreligious meeting in Sofia.

RAKOVSKI, Bulgaria - In the Catholic heart of Bulgaria, Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for 245 children receiving their first Communion and thanked them for helping him, their parents and grandparents remember their own first Communion.

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Twelve boys and girls wearing white T-shirts and dark pants sang for Pope Francis at a refugee center on the outskirts of Sofia.

SOFIA, Bulgaria - In a country that has seen many of its citizens emigrate in search of work and a better life, Pope Francis asked Bulgarians to be welcoming of and sympathetic to the migrants and refugees who arrive in their country hoping to get to Western Europe.

VATICAN CITY - Reading the Bible and praying with it is "the best vaccine" against Catholic communities closing in on themselves or focusing only on self-preservation, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY - On Easter Monday, Pope Francis led thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in praying for the hundreds of people who died or were injured in bomb blasts the previous day in Sri Lanka.

VATICAN CITY - As individuals and as a church, it can be tempting to dwell on mistakes, failures and sins that block the fullness of life, but Easter is the proclamation that the Lord is victorious and his love will triumph, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY - After the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris April 15, Romans and tourists could not help looking at St. Peter's Basilica and wondering, "what if?"

ROME - The president of France and the archbishop of Paris have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, continuing what a professor of architecture described as the natural lifecycle of a historic building.