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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received athletes, organisers and sponsors of the “Settecolli” international swimming competition on Saturday.
The Settecolli event is the last major competition ahead of the World Championships in Budapest in July
In remarks to his guests, who were gathered in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on Saturday, Pope Francis said that swimming – especially competitive swimming – is an extremely demanding form of athleticism that requires the cultivation of many virtues, and also presses us to reflect on the gift of water.
“Your competitiveness, your racing, your living in contact with water, can also be a contribution to a different ‘culture of water’: water is life – without water there is no life – and to talk about life is to talk about God, the origin and source of life. Even our Christian life begins with the sign of water, with Baptism,” Pope Francis said.
More than 700 athletes from 36 countries are participating in the Settecolli competition this weekend.
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(Vatican Radio) The Vatican has released the details of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Colombia, due to take place from 6 to 11 of September 2017.
Please find below the full programme:
Wednesday 6 September 2017
11:00 Departure by air from Rome Fiumicino airport for Bogotá
16:30 Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport
Thursday 7 September 2017
09:00 ENCOUNTER WITH THE AUTHORITIES in Plaza de Armas de la Casa de Nariño
09:30 COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT in the Protocol Hall of the Casa de Nariño
10:20 VISIT TO THE CATHEDRAL
10:50 BLESSING OF THE FAITHFUL from the balcony of the Cardinal’s Palace
11:00 MEETING WITH BISHOPS in the Hall of the Cardinal’s Palace
15:00 MEETING WITH THE DIRECTIVE COMMITTEE OF CELAM in the Apostolic Nunciature
16:30 HOLY MASS in the Simon Bolivar Park
Friday 8 September 2017
07:50 Departure from the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport for Villavicencio
08:30 Arrival at the Apiay air base in Villavicencio
09:30 HOLY MASS in the CATAMA area
15:40 GREAT PRAYER MEETING FOR NATIONAL RECONCILIATION in the Parque Las Malocas
17:20 PAUSE AT THE CROSS OF THE RECONCILIATION in the Parque de los Fundadores
18:00 Departure by air per Bogotá
18:45 Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport.
Saturday 9 September 2017
08:20 Departure by air from the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport for Rionegro
09:10 Arrival at the Rionegro air base.
09:15 Helicopter transfer to Medellin airport
10:15 HOLY MASS at the Enrique Olaya Herrera airport of Medellin
15:00 MEETING IN THE HOGAR SAN JOSE’
16:00 ENCOUNTER with PRIESTS, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS, CONSECRATED PERSONS, SEMINARIANS and their FAMILIES in the La Macarena indoor stadium
Helicopter transfer to the Rionegro air base
17:30 Departure by air for Bogotá
18:25 Arrival in the military area (CATAM) of Bogotá airport
Sunday 10 September 2017
08:30 Departure by air for Cartagena
10:00 Arrival at Cartagena airport
10:30 BLESSING of the FIRST STONE of the HOUSES for the HOMELESS and the work of TALITHA QUM in St. Francis of Assisi Square
12:00 ANGELUS in front of the Church of St. Peter Claver
12:15 VISIT TO THE SHRINE HOUSE OF ST. PETER CLAVER
15:45 Helicopter transfer from the naval base to the port area of Contecar
16:30 HOLY MASS in the port area of Contecar
18:30 Helicopter transfer to Cartagena airport
18:45 FAREWELL CEREMONY
19:00 Departure by air for Rome Ciampino airport
Monday 11 September 2017
12:40 Arrival at Rome Ciampino airport
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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Queen Máxima, of the Netherlands in a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday.
A communiqué from the Holy See Press Office said their discussions were “cordial” and touched on issues of shared interest, including “the protection of the environment and the fight against poverty, as well as on the specific contribution of the Holy See and the Catholic Church in these fields.”
They also paid “particular attention to the phenomenon of migration, underlining the importance of peaceful co-existence between different cultures, and joint commitment to promoting peace and global security, with special reference to various areas of conflict.”
The King, the Queen, and the Pope also reflected together “on the prospects of the European project”, according to the communiqué.
Afterwards, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Arcbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
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(Vatican Radio) A shepherd must be passionate, must know how to discern and how to denounce evil. Those were Pope Francis’ words during Mass on Thursday at the Casa Santa Marta, where he focused on the figure of the Apostle Paul and then turned his attention to the example offered by Don Milani. Like the parish priest of Barbiana, the Pope said, one should take care of one’s neighbour.
“The Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep,” said Pope Francis during his homily, drawing inspiration from the readings of the day and dwelling on the characteristics that a shepherd should have. The Pope noted in Saint Paul, the figure of the “true shepherd”, who does not abandon his sheep unlike a “mercenary”. The first quality, therefore, the Holy Father indicated, is that St Paul is “passionate”. Passionate, he added, “to the point of telling his people, ‘I feel for you all a kind of divine jealousy’.” He is “divinely jealous,” the Pope commented.
The true shepherd knows how to discern, on guard against at the seduction of evil
A passion therefore becomes almost “madness”, “stupidity” for his people. “And this – the Pope added – is that which we call apostolic zeal: he cannot be a true shepherd without this fire.” A second characteristic, he continued, the pastor must be “a man who knows how to discern”:
“He knows what seduction in life is. The lying father is a seducer. The Shepherd, is not. The shepherd loves. Instead, the snake, the father of lies, is a seducer. He is a seducer trying to turn away from fidelity, because that divine jealousy of Paul was to bring the people to a single groom, to keep the people loyal to their bridegroom. In the history of salvation, in Scripture many times we turn away from God, disloyalty towards the Lord, idolatry as if it were a maternal infidelity. “
You must know how to report evil, not be naïve
The Shepherd’s first characteristic, then, “is to be passionate, zealous, zealous”. The second feature is, “someone who knows how to discern: to discern where the dangers are, where the graces are… where the real road is”. This, the Pope said, “means he always accompanies his sheep: in beautiful moments and even in bad moments, even in moments of seduction, with patience he brings them to the fold.” And the third feature: is “the ability to denounce”:
“An apostle cannot be naive: ‘Ah, it’s all right, let’s go ahead, eh? It’s all right … Let’s party, everyone … everything is possible …’. because there is the fidelity to the only groom, to Jesus Christ, to be defended. And he knows how to condemn it: that concreteness, to say ‘ no,’ like the parents say to the baby when he starts to clap and goes to the electric socket to put his fingers in : ‘No, no! It’s dangerous!’. But, I think so many times of that ‘tuca nen’ (do not touch anything ndr) that my parents and grandparents told me at those moments where there was a danger. “
Take care of others as Don Milani did
“The Good Shepherd – Pope Francis said – can denounce, by name and surname” as St. Paul did.
The Holy Father returned to his visit to Bozzolo and Barbiana, this week, referring, “to those two good shepherds of Italy.” And speaking of Don Milani, he recalled his “motto” when he “taught his boys”:
“I care. But what does it mean? They explained to me that he wanted to say ‘I care’. He taught that things were to be taken seriously, against the fashion motto at that time that was ‘I do not care,’ but said in another language, which I dare not say here. And so he taught the kids to move on. Take care: take care of your life, and this no! ‘”
Paul’s apostolic zeal, was passionate, zealous. Man, commented the Holy Father knows how to discern because he knows the power of seduction and knows the devil seduces.
The Pope then concluded with a prayer “for all the shepherds of the Church, for Saint Paul who intercede before the Lord, for all of us pastors in order to serve the Lord.”
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