National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican

Papal palates: Swiss Guard cookbook to hit shelves by summer

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A cookbook featuring favorite dishes of the three most-recent popes and their elite military corps will be available this summer in English.

Buon Appetito, Swiss Guard was written by 24-year-old David Geisser, who had worked as a chef and published two popular cookbooks in his native Switzerland before joining the Swiss Guard nearly two years ago.

"Many people do not know about the Swiss Guard," said Geisser, whose commander conceived of the coffee-table-size book as a means to make the Guard better known.

Carmelite draws from life of Elijah for pope, Curia's Lenten retreat

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The Lenten journey of conversion requires Christians to rediscover the "deepest truth" about themselves, cast off their masks and take on the courage to live truth, a prominent Carmelite priest told the pope and Vatican officials.

In the first days of Lenten spiritual exercises for the Roman Curia, the church's central administration, Carmelite Fr. Bruno Secondin drew from the life of the prophet Elijah to invite Vatican officials to reflect on whether their hearts "really belong to the Lord" or whether they rely on external gestures.

Pope Francis names St. Gregory of Narek a doctor of the church

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A 10th-century Armenian monk has been named among the doctors of the church.

Pope Francis approved the designation for St. Gregory of Narek during a meeting Saturday with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

The church confers this designation on saints whose writings are considered to offer key theological insights for the faith.

St. Gregory of Narek is considered one of the foremost figures of Armenian theology and thought, and many of his prayers are included in the Armenian Divine Liturgy.

Italy and Vatican on guard after threat from Islamic State

The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy "the nation signed with the blood of the cross."

Italy is one of a handful of major Western counties that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.

Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic targets in Rome and monitor the streets of the capital for suspicious activity.

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