Pope Francis had called for the prayer vigil less than a week earlier, as the central event of a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world.
The pope appointed Archbishop Pietro Parolin, 58, a longtime official in the Vatican secretariat of state and nuncio to Venezuela since 2009, to be his secretary of state.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has sent information to its priests and deacons about how they can mark this intention with their parishioners.
Pope Francis will host a meeting of cardinals Sept. 30 to formally approve the canonization of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII; the date for the canonization will be announced at that time, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.
Pope Francis has approved a major updating of the criminal laws of Vatican City State, including in areas dealing with child abuse and terrorism financing, and has ruled that any Vatican employee can be tried by the Vatican court for violating those laws.
The key problem in everyone’s relationship with God is not that they sin, but that they are not ashamed of their sin and don’t ask forgiveness, Pope Francis said.
With slightly more of a swipe than a tap, Pope Francis helped the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States broaden its reach around the world by unlocking a smartphone app.
For the first time in history, the Vatican is home to a pope and a retired pope.
The credibility of Christianity is undermined by pastors and faithful who preach one thing and do another, Pope Francis said.
All of the baptized and not just the clergy are called to spread the Gospel, even in times of persecution, Pope Francis said in his morning homily April 17.