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Italian police recover stolen relic of Blessed John Paul II

Less than a week after a relic of Blessed John Paul II disappeared from a country chapel east of Rome, Italian police recovered the venerated piece of fabric stained with the late pope's blood.

Auxiliary Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole of L'Aquila told reporters Friday that one of three men arrested for the theft the previous day had led police to the relic, which they found inside his garage.

Pope Francis' first Lenten message to focus on poverty, generosity

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Pope Francis has chosen the theme, "He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich," for this year's Lenten message, said a Vatican statement Friday.

The theme comes from a verse from St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, where the apostle is promoting generosity in giving and wishes to "test the genuineness of your love by your concern for others."

The full verse reads: "For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (2 Cor 8:9).

The Salesian and the Shogun: Documents discovered in Vatican Library

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Just a few days before the feast of St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, the Vatican Library announced a major project to inventory, digitalize, catalogue and study unique historical documents collected by a Salesian missionary to Japan.

The estimated 10,000 original documents, dating from early in the 1600s to the mid-1800s, provide cold bureaucratic details about the persecution of Christians in Japan during that period.

Christian identity must be clear, uncompromising, pope tells university

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Catholic universities must give "uncompromising" and "unambiguous" witness to church teaching and defend themselves from all efforts to dilute their Catholic identity, Pope Francis said.

Catholic universities, "by their very nature, are committed to demonstrating the harmony of faith and reason and the relevance of the Christian message for a full and authentically human life," he said in an audience with members of the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame and other officials.

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September 26-October 9, 2014

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