Pope prays for Rome, world in traditional homage to Immaculate Mary
Following a custom that dates back several decades, Pope Francis left the Vatican on the afternoon of December 8 and traveled to the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, where he offered an act of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Column of the Immaculate Conception.
John Glenn, American ‘icon,’ astronaut, former U.S. senator, dies at 95
Astronaut legend and decorated World War II pilot John H. Glenn, who served for 24 years in the U.S. Senate and inspired young people to pursue careers in sciences and engineering, died Dec. 8. He was 95. Among those watching Glenn’s first space flight was St. John XXIII, who asked to be kept regularly informed about the progress of flight.
Pope contrasts Adam’s ‘no,’ Virgin Mary’s ‘yes’
In his Angelus address for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis contrasted the “no” of our first parents with the Virgin’s “yes.” Christ “made himself the same as us in everything, except one thing, that ‘no,’ except sin,” Pope Francis said to those present on December 8 in St. Peter’s Square. “Therefore, he chose Mary, the only creature without sin, immaculate.”
Be mediators, not rigid ‘middlemen,’ Pope exhorts priests
The Pope drew a contrast between “mediators” and “middlemen” in the clergy. The mediator, he said, “gives himself to unite the parties; he gives his life.” The priest, he explained, is a mediator between God and his flock, and in this sense he imitates Christ. “The logic of Jesus as mediator is the logic of annihilating oneself,” the Pope said, citing the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians.
As Vatican lights Christmas tree, Pope reflects on Nativity scene
As Christmas approaches, the Nativity scenes found in churches and homes around the world bid us to make room for Jesus both in our lives and in society, Pope Francis said shortly before the lighting of the Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square Friday. On Dec. 9, a massive 82-foot tree from the Dolomites was lit in St. Peter’s Square, next to the nearly life-size Nativity scene, donated to the Vatican by the Archdiocese of Malta and designed by local artists.
In Jesuit publications, filmmaker Scorsese talks about his faith
In two long interviews with Jesuit publications, director Martin Scorsese described his new film "Silence" as a major stage in his pilgrimage of faith, a pilgrimage that included flunking out of the minor seminary, investigating other religions and recognizing that the Catholic Church was his home.