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Vatican

Pope Francis celebrates the church as loving 'mamma'

Pope Francis gave pilgrims attending his weekly public audience Wednesday what he called a "homework assignment" to find out the date they were baptized and celebrate it every year.

"How many of you remember the date of your baptism?" the pope asked the crowd in St. Peter's Square, then acknowledged a relatively small show of hands.

"Our baptismal date is the date of our birth in the church," he said. "When you go home today, look hard for the date of your baptism, so you can celebrate it and thank the Lord for this gift."

Pope: Sanctity of marriage rooted in Christ's union with church

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The Catholic church closely safeguards the sanctity of marriage because it is a reflection of Christ's union with his bride, the church, Pope Francis said.

Jesus often uses the imagery of a bridegroom to help people see the nature of his relationship with the church, the pope said Friday during his morning Mass in his residence of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

"I think this is exactly the most profound reason why the church safeguards the sacrament of Marriage so much and calls it the great sacrament, because it is precisely the image of the union of Christ with the church."

Francis and the Very New Evangelism

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We’ve all heard of the New Evangelism.  I think it’s time to recognize something else going on the church.  Maybe we should call it the Very New Evangelism.  The Very New Evangelism is the kind of evangelism we find being preached by Pope Francis. This evangelism is about serving the needy and offering encouragement. It’s about modeling ways Christians can be, well, be Christians in day-to-day life.

Lasting bonds: Vatican invites extended families to join pilgrimage

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As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican wants to celebrate bonds that last a lifetime.

The international pilgrimage of families Oct. 26-27 is being planned as a celebration and not a protest against any policy or trend, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

"The time has come to set aside conflicts," he said, and "hit the streets" simply with the joy and happiness of being part of a loving family.

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