Pope Francis' devotion is profound but simple: Mary is a mother to every believer; Jesus would not leave his followers orphans.
Pope Francis' July 5-12 visit to Latin America will not take him to his native Argentina, but it will put him closely in touch with his Jesuit roots and with one of the main characteristics of his ministry as archbishop of Buenos Aires: direct contact with the poor, the sick and those striving to bring the Gospel to bear on social inequalities.
The pope will begin his three-nation South America tour in Ecuador before moving on to Bolivia and Paraguay, the Vatican announced Friday when it published a detailed itinerary for the visit.
Never let practice and competition get in the way of going to Mass, studying for school, being with friends and helping the poor, Pope Francis told an Italian sports association.
And never let Italy's infatuation with soccer -- like in the pope's native Argentina -- crowd out all the other sports, which are just as important for teaching kids the benefits of teamwork and sacrifice, he said Thursday.
Msgr. Daniel Gallagher has faced a number of linguistic challenges as the man responsible for translating Pope Francis' Twitter feed into Latin, and then he was confronted with "heavy metal music."
Gallagher, an American who works at the Vatican's Office of Latin Letters, recently helped translate the best-selling children's book Diary of a Wimpy Kid into Latin, an ancient language that most people can't understand but that remains the official language of the Roman Catholic church.
Real love is constant, concrete and communicates -- it is action over words and it obeys the Beatitudes, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
True love is not "soap-opera love," or "a whim" or something that "makes our heart beat a little faster," and then nothing more, the pope said Thursday during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Love is found "in concrete actions," he said, which is why Jesus told his disciples that only those who do the Father's will would enter into the kingdom of heaven, not those who just call out, "Lord, Lord."
The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper blasted a series of cartoons of Islam's Prophet Muhammad as "blasphemous" but also condemned the "mad and bloodthirsty" extremists who opened fire at a Texas exhibit of the cartoons.
The front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano likened the exhibit in Garland, Texas, to pouring "gasoline on the fire" of religious sensitivities and was critical of its sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, and professional provocateur Pamela Geller.
Wake up and take action; Pope Francis makes this call in "The Joy of the Gospel," but it seems people "are still sleeping, caught up in a million secondary things," Archbishop Victor Fernandez said.
In his short guide on how to apply the pope's apostolic exhortation -- Evangelii Gaudium in Latin -- the Argentine archbishop said if the teachings in the document were taken seriously, church communities would see significant changes, renewal, life and new energy.
A Christian marriage isn't just a big ceremony held in a church with nice flowers and everyone wearing fancy clothes and taking lots of pictures, Pope Francis said.
Marriage is an act of faith between a man and woman who are both fragile and limited, but courageous enough to follow Christ and seek to love each other as he loves them, the pope said Wednesday during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.
Although he already has said he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra in Washington in September, Pope Francis formally approved a sentence by members of the Congregation for Saints' Causes recommending the move.
The sentence was presented to the pope during a meeting Tuesday with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican announced the next day. During the same meeting, the pope signed decrees relating to the sainthood causes of another 12 men and women.
Pope Francis will meet Cuban President Raul Castro in a "strictly private" meeting on Sunday, only four months before the pontiff will travel to the Caribbean Island nation, the Vatican has announced.
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi announced the visit in a brief statement late Tuesday evening, saying: "I confirm that Sunday May 10, in the course of the morning, the Holy Father will receive in a strictly private way the President of the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Raul Castro Ruz."