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The Francis Chronicles

High youth unemployment rates are 'defeat' for society, pope says

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Job creation, respect for the environment and the second chances God grants to every sinner were recurring themes as Pope Francis visited the southern Italian region of Molise on Saturday.

"We cannot resign ourselves to losing a whole generation of young people who don't have the strong dignity of work," Pope Francis said during a meeting with the region's young people in the town of Castelpetroso. "Work gives dignity."

Pope Francis' papacy by the numbers

While many of his younger Italian brethren might still be sleeping, Rome's 77-year-old bishop is up at 4:45 a.m. and ready for another 15-hour day. Though he only has one fully functioning lung, he has maintained a rigorous and demanding schedule during his first 15 months of office, according to the Italian daily La Stampa, which published some interesting statistics on the pope that the Vatican confirmed.

Christians without Mary in their life are orphans, pope says

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Pope Francis told a group of young people discerning a religious vocation to never go it alone, but always stay by their mother, Mary.

"A Christian without Our Lady is an orphan. Also a Christian without the church is an orphan. A Christian needs these two women, two mothers, two virgins: the church and Our Lady," he said Saturday.

The pope spoke off-the-cuff to a group of young men from the diocese of Rome during a brief moment of prayer at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens.

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In This Issue

August 15-28, 2014

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