Pope Francis on Monday celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation encouraging the faithful to open their hearts to God and to say ‘yes’ to his message of salvation.

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VATICAN CITY - With a simple tap, Pope Francis joined Instagram and quickly set a record for gaining one million followers.

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OTTAWA - While many within the Catholic Church and other denominations have apologized for their role in Indian residential schools, many are still awaiting the one voice that would speak loudest — Pope Francis.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has set April 8 for the release of "Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love"), Pope Francis' reflection on the family and family life.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis appealed to the government of Pakistan to take steps to ensure the safety of the country's Christians and other minorities the day after a terrorist bombing killed at least 70 people and injured more than 300 who were spending Easter afternoon in a public park.

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VATICAN CITY - Easter is a feast of hope, a celebration of God's mercy and a call to pray for and assist all who suffer, Pope Francis said before giving his solemn blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world).

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ROME — Read the Vatican’s English translation of Pope Francis’ prayer last night at the conclusion of the Via Crucis service at Rome’s Colosseum.

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VATICAN CITY — Entering in silence and lying prostrate on the floor in front of the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis commemorated Jesus' death on the cross.

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VATICAN CITY - As the death toll from the Brussels terror attacks rose on March 24, Pope Francis began three days of solemn observances leading to Easter Sunday by denouncing those who help fuel terrorism the way some once backed Judas against Jesus.

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Pope Francis celebrated the Missa in coena Domini on Holy Thursday evening, at the CARA Welcome and Hospitality Centre operated by the Auxilium cooperative. Located a short distance outside the Rome city limits, in Castelnuovo di Porto, the Centre provides temporary lodging and services to nearly 900 asylum seekers from 25 different countries.

Published in Reflections

On the morning of Holy Thursday, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of Chrism at St Peter’s Basilica.

During the Holy Mass, the Holy Father blessed the sacred oils (Chrism, the oil of catechumens, and the oil of the sick), which will be used during the Easter Vigil, and in liturgical celebrations throughout the year.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican is studying the possibility of Pope Francis visiting Armenia in late June, the Vatican spokesman said.

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TORONTO - As Catholics worldwide prepare to celebrate Easter, Fr. Thomas Rosica is challenging them to extend mercy to the marginalized.

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Christian hope is a humble and strong virtue that supports us, so that we do not drown under the many difficulties we face in life. That was Pope Francis’ message at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope said that hope in the Lord never disappoints us; it’s a font of joy and peace in our hearts.

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VATICAN CITY - Although he lives a relatively hidden life in a villa in the Vatican Gardens, retired Pope Benedict XVI continues to study modern theological questions and, occasionally, to comment on them publicly.

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