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June 29: Peter and Paul

29 June is the day set apart in the Catholic world for the celebration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Apart from Mary, the mother of Jesus, St Joseph and St John the Baptist, these are the only human figures commemorated in the calendar of the universal Church with a day given the…

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Bl Charles de Foucauld and Marie-Pauline Jaricot, Foundress of Pontifical Mission Societies, to be Canonised

(Charles de Foucauld) was deeply respectful of the faiths and cultures he lived among. During his 13 years in the Saraha he learned about Tuareg culture and language, compiling a Tuareg-French dictionary, and being a “brother” to the people. The priest said he wanted to “shout the Gospel with his life” and to conduct himself so…

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Laudato Si’ Week: Extracts from Encyclical on Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology

I do not want to write this encyclical without turning to that attractive and compelling figure, whose name I took as my guide and inspiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome. I believe that Saint Francis is the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and…

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Spiritual Communion: ‘The Fountain of Living Water’ – A Poem by St John of the Cross

There are, of course, a great number of stories which could be recalled in this context. But the story which, for me, most stands out is the story of the imprisonment of the Carmelite poet and mystic St John of the Cross. Captured and taken from his priory, John was forced to live in appalling…