Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY -- Prayer is powerful not because it changes God or God's plans, but because it changes individuals and communities, one heart at a time, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, clearing the way for his beatification.

VATICAN CITY -- Almost 10 weeks after St. Peter's Basilica was closed to the public in cooperation with Italy's COVID-19 lockdown measures, the faithful and tourists were allowed back in May 18.

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education has asked pontifical universities and faculties to plan to reopen in the fall and teach with students present.

VATICAN CITY -- The coronavirus pandemic has drawn well-deserved attention to nurses and midwives, who are among "the saints next door," dedicated to helping people in some of the most joyful or painful moments of their lives, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- Just as Jesus told the disciples, "Do not let your hearts be troubled," he says the same thing to his followers today amid "the dramas of life," Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- The coronavirus pandemic is a "favorable time to rediscover the need for prayer in our lives; let us open the doors of our hearts to the love of God our father, who will listen to us," Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has expanded the ranks of the top members of the College of Cardinals, naming as "cardinal bishops" Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

ROME -- While the Italian bishops and government officials continue negotiating a way to resume the public celebration of Masses, the government provided guidelines that permit the celebration of funerals beginning May 4.

VATICAN CITY -- Because all of the human bones found in a Vatican cemetery last summer were at least 100 years old, the Vatican City State court officially closed its investigation into the possibility that some of the remains belonged to a teenage woman missing for more than 30 years.