"They are martyrs of today and they are many," Pope Francis said Monday. "We can say that they might be more numerous than the first centuries."
"From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace."
Pope Francis has outlined a deeply human model of the priesthood, telling priests they should exhaust themselves at the service of their people.
ROME -- Reflecting on Jesus' death, recounted on Palm Sunday, Francis has said humility "is the way of Jesus; there is no other."
The Japanese bishops asked that even if Francis did not outright condemn nuclear power, he say it has "very serious problems that threaten life."
Two members of the new Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on clergy sexual abuse have said they are both concerned and surprised at the pontiff's decision to appoint a bishop in Chile who is accused of covering up abuse, and even witnessing it, while he was a priest.
The president and the pope "will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President's visit to the Vatican in March 2014, on their shared values and commitments."
"I ask you all, please do not miss making your prayer," Pope Francis said. "This prayer for the synod on the family is for the good of all."
A traditionalist bishop who has denied the Holocaust has been automatically excommunicated along with the priest he illicitly ordained a bishop.
British Bishop Richard Williamson violated church law when he ordained Fr. Jean-Michel Faure, 73, a bishop without papal approval during a ceremony in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, on Thursday, the feast of St. Joseph.
While the Vatican did not comment immediately, canon law provides automatic excommunication for the newly ordained bishop and for the bishop ordaining him in cases where the ordination goes against the will of the pope.
Pope Francis will dine with about 90 prisoners who won their spots after a raffle among some 1,900 detainees.