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By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICANCITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called on Catholics and Orthodox Christians to prayfor children in Syria who are suffering because of the ongoing conflict in thecountry. "The children of Syria invite children from all overthe world to join in theirprayer for peace" on International Children's Day June 1, he said.Before praying the Angelus May 29, thepope said Catholicand Orthodox Christians would be taking part together in the special prayer forpeace and that the children were "the protagonists" by inviting allthe world's children to unite with them in prayer. Thejoint Day of Prayer for Peace, sponsored by the Catholic charity Aid to theChurch in Need, is one of several initiatives meant to promote peace in Syria. Thepope's invitation echoes that of Catholic leaders and Orthodox patriarchs inthe country, who signed a joint message inviting Christians around the world tojoin them in praying for peace. Themessage says: "We pray to him -- the Christ, the king ...
(Vatican Radio ) Tuesday 24th of May marks the twenty- fourth 'World Day of Prayer for the Church in China'. to mark this special day Veronica Scarisbrick brings you a programme focusing on the figure of Matteo Ricci, who is one of the founders of the Jesuit China Mission. A man who died in 1610, whose memory still lives on in China today. Listen to Father Emmanuel Lim SJ  a programme focusing on the figure of Matteo Ricci presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick: This programme includes a passage from Matteo Ricci's diary : "..the work of evangelisation , of making Christians should be carried on both in Peking and in the Provinces, following methods both of a pacific nature and of cultural adaptation. Europeanism is to be shunned."... 
(Vatican Radio)  Vatican Weekend for May 21, 2016 features a report on the words of Pope Francis during his weekly general audience to pilgrims from across the world.This is followed by a  musical meditation to mark the day the Church celebrates Trinity Sunday. In the final segment of the programme we look ahead to the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China by shining a spotlight on the figure of Matteo Ricci. Listen to a programme presented and produced by Veronica Scarisbrick: 
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICANCITY (CNS) -- What you say and how you live always go hand in hand, building upthe church and the people of God, Pope Francis told new priests."Therefore,may your doctrine be nourishment to the people of God, joy and supporting thosefaithful to Christ (be) the fragrance of your life, because the word andexample go together," he said. "Wordand example edify the house of God, which is the church," he said in hishomily April 17, the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.CelebratingMass in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis ordained 11 new priests; nine wereordained for the Diocese of Rome and two of the new priests -- including oneborn in Baghdad -- belong to the Rogationist religious order.Inhis homily, the pope urged the men to read, reflect on and teach the word ofGod and to be a living example of what they preach.Heasked that they imitate Jesus in their lives, including "carrying Christ'sdeath" inside of them and walking with him in new life....
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated the World Day of Prayer for Vocations by ordaining eleven men to the priesthood at St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday.In his homily, based on the sermon for ordinations found in the Italian edition of the Roman Pontifical, the Holy Father asked the new priests to “remember your history, the gift of the Word of the Lord given to you by your mothers, your grandmothers – as Saint Paul says – by the catechists and by the whole Church.”He called them “to bear within” themselves “the death of Christ, to walk with Christ in newness of life,” and he reminded them that “without the Cross you will never find the true Jesus; and a Cross without Jesus makes no sense.” The Pope implored the new priests, “in the name of that same Jesus Christ, the Lord, and in the name of the Church… to be merciful, so very merciful.”Finally, Pope Francis reminded the priests that they are cho...
(Vatican Radio) March 24th marks the Church’s day of prayer for missionary martyrs, in memory of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero who was murdered while celebrating Mass on that day in 1980.During Romero’s beatification in San Salvador last May,  March 24th was also recognized as his feast day, yet this year the date marks Holy Thursday and will therefore not be celebrated as an official saints day.The popular archbishop was gunned down by hired assassins because he had become an increasingly outspoken opponent of the El Salvador’s military leadership, making public each week a list of victims of the civil war. His murder came one day after a sermon in which he had called on Salvadoran soldiers to stop killing and carrying out human rights violations.In many countries across the world Romero has long been revered as ‘the voice of voiceless’, an inspirational figure for all who give their lives for the Gospel values of human dignity, justice and...
Monday 8 February has been observed the world over as the Second International Day of Prayer and awareness against human trafficking.Sr. Anna Theresa Nyadombo of Zimbabwe is a member of the religious congregation known as the Handmaids of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The congregation is part of the wider Carmelite family. Recently, Sr. Nyandombo who works for the education department of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference was in Rome, Italy to attend the second international coordinating meeting for religious women against human trafficking.Speaking to the Africa Service of Vatican Radio, Sr. Nyadombo says Africa could and should do more about human trafficking.“Human trafficking in Africa is a big problem but in Africa, we are silent about it. In this meeting that I just attended, we only had five countries from the continent of Africa namely, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda and Burkina Faso. I must say that in Africa, as religious women we are also members of ...
(Vatican Radio) Today, February 8, we mark the International Day of Prayer and Awarenesss Against Human Trafficking.Amongst the faith-based organizations whose mandate is to raise awareness about this global phenomenon, fight it and work with its victims is Caritas, the helping hand of the Catholic Church.Caritas offers humanitarian action and support in many fields, it also coordinates the work of COATNET  - Christian Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings - a network of 42 Christian groups around the world who fight human trafficking. This International Day of Prayer has been chosen to coincide with the feat of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese woman who was sold into slavery, abused and finally freed becoming an icon of Christian hope and forgiveness.As Pope Francis himself has said again and again “human trafficking is a crime against humanity”, “an open wound of the body of contemporary society”, and COATNET believes that “th...
(Vatican Radio) On Monday February 8th the Church marks the 2nd International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, an initiative promoted particularly by women religious committed to the struggle against this modern form of slavery.Two years ago an alliance of religious congregations, bishops and international police chiefs met with Pope Francis in the Vatican and set up a network, known as the Santa Marta group, to better coordinate their work of prevention, protection of victims and prosecution of the trafficking gangs.Kevin Hyland is the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and former head of the London Metropolitan Police Service’s Human Trafficking Unit. He was responsible for the convictions of numerous international crime groups and now works closely with the Santa Marta network.Hyland was in Rome this week to talk about the UK’s experience, including a new Modern Slavery Act and his own strategic plan stressing the potential ...
(Vatican Radio) February 8 is the feast day of St Josephine Bakita, a Sudanese woman who was sold into slavery, abused and later freed.The day is also an opportunity to remember – and pray for – the many victims of modern day slavery - human trafficking - as well as for those who work to combat this “scourge of humanity” as Pope Francis has described the phenomenon.Faith based organizations across the globe, who are involved in fighting human trafficking and in accompanying and rehabilitating its victims, are inviting all men and women of goodwill to participate in the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking.One such organization is the Jesuit Refugee Service. Amongst its many services geared to assist refugees and advocate for their rights, are the existence of“Safe Havens” in strategic locations which provide physical and emotional protection and safe spaces for those caught in cycles of violence.That’s becaus...
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