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Society of Jesus

On St. Ignatius feast, pope meets family of Jesuit kidnapped in Syria

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Pope Francis, a Jesuit, celebrated the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch.

Jesuit Fr. Giuseppe Bellucci said the pope had "communicated at the last minute" his desire to join the community at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch Thursday, the feast day of the founder of the Society of Jesus.

"It was a private and simple visit," Bellucci said.

Which were NCR's most-read online stories in January?

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Here's a rundown of the most-read stories on NCRonline.org for the month of January. The list is compiled with the help of Google Analytics. Miss any of these stories? Now's the time to get caught up.

5. "New cardinals to be appointed may include next pope" by Thomas Reese, posted Jan. 6. In this analysis, Reese explored what Pope Francis might be looking for in new cardinals. Less than a week later, Francis announced his picks for the red hats. (See No. 3.)

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