Browsing News Entries

Pope dedicates weekday Mass to the 'noble Chinese people' (Vatican News)

During his May 24 homily, Pope Francis preached on poverty and attachment to riches.

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

On May 25, the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, an Italian noblewoman of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries who became a Carmelite nun distinguished for her intense prayer life and devotion to frequent Holy Communion.In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI marked the 400th anniversary of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi’s death in a letter to the Archbishop of Florence, her birthplace. He described her as “a symbolic figure of a living love that recalls the essential mystical dimension of every Christian life.�“May the great mystic,� the Pope wrote, “still make her voice heard in all the Church, spreading to every human creature the proclamation to love God.�Born on April 2, 1566, the future “Mary Magdalene� was given the name of Caterina at the time of her birth. She was the only daughter of her parents, who both came from prominent families. Caterina was drawn to the Holy Eucharist from a young age, and she resolved to serve God as a consecrated virgin shortly after receiving her First Communion at age 10.Late in the year 1582 she entered a strictly traditional Carmelite monastery, where Holy Communion was – unusually for the time period – administered daily. Receiving her religious habit the next year, she took the name of Mary Magdalene.From March to May of 1584, Mary became seriously ill and was thought to be in danger of death. On May 27 of that year she made her religious vows while lying sick upon a pallet. Her recovery marked the start of an extended mystical experience, which lasted 40 days and involved extraordinary experiences taken down by her religious sisters in a set of manuscripts.Mary served the monastery in a series of teaching and supervisory positions, while also contributing to her community through manual work. Her fellow Carmelites respected her strict sense of discipline, which was accompanied by profound charity and practical wisdom. Her experiences of suffering and temptation helped her to guide and inspire others.Extraordinary spiritual occurrences were a frequent feature of this Carmelite nun’s life, to a much greater degree than is typical in the tradition of Catholic mysticism. Many of her experiences of God were documented by others in her community, although Mary herself disliked the attention and would seemingly have preferred for these events to remain private.She did wish, however, to call attention to God’s love, which she saw as tragically underappreciated and unreciprocated by mankind. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi is remembered for making dramatic gestures – running through the halls of her monastery, or ringing its bells at night – while proclaiming the urgent need for all people to awaken to God’s love, and respond in kind.Her earthly life came to an end on May 25, 1607, after an excruciating illness lasting nearly three years. Pope Clement IX canonized St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi in 1669.

Bishop criticizes UK Government for spending billions renewing Trident nuclear submarine (Scottish Catholic Observer)

“We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being and that nuclear weapons violate that dignity and threaten that life,” said Bishop William Nolan, who leads the Scottish bishops’ justice and peace commission. “The decision by Parliament to spend billions of pounds renewing the UK’s arsenal of mass destruction in times of austerity is not a commitment to peacebuilding.”

'Choose life for mothers and babies,' Archbishop Martin pleads (Servizio Informazione Religiosa)

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh is Primate of All Ireland.

Resignations and appointments (5/24) (Vatican Press Office)

Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two Venezuelan bishops for reasons of age and appointed their successors. He also appointed a bishop in the Philippines.

Irish PM renews call to repeal pro-life constitutional amendment (

As Irish voters prepared to go to the polls, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said that the amendment has led to a “legacy of shame.”

Nigerian bishop says there is 'plan to Islamicize the Christian areas' (Aid to the Church in Need)

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation (191 million people), is 50% Muslim and 40% Christian, with 10% adhering to indigenous beliefs. “We are not speaking of Boko Haram this time,” said Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe; instead, he spoke of attacks on Christians by members of the Fulani people.

G7 nations reject Venezuelan election result (Agence France-Presse)

Echoing Venezuela’s bishops, the G7 nations—which include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—stated that the recent Venezuelan presidential election lacks legitimacy and credibility.

Nicaragua cardinal says talks at impasse, suspended indefinitely (AP)

Nicaragua’s bishops had attempted to mediate between Daniel Ortega’s repressive leftist regime and opposition leaders.

Punggye-ri nuclear site destroyed in North Korea (AsiaNews)

L’Osservatore Romano (5/25 Italian edition) devoted prominent front-page coverage to this story. The Vatican newspaper also highlighted the North Korean government’s warning of a nuclear showdown.