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"By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written, ā€˜So that you may be justified in your words, and prevail in your judging." Rom 3: 4
Reading of the Day

"Then he told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, "What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?" Then he said, "I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry." But God said to him, "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God." Lk 12: 16 - 21

Saint of the Day
St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth year he entered the Franciscan Order of the Strictest Observance, or Reform of St. Peter of Alcantara. Such was the edification he gave in his Order, that within three years after his profession he was sent to found a monastery in Piedmont. He became a priest out of obedience, and obtained, as it seems, an inspired knowledge of moral theology. With his superiors' permission he built another convent and drew up rules for that community, which were confirmed by the Holy See.

Pope Francis arrives in Iraq
Pope Francis arrives in Iraq
05 March 2021. Pope Francis arrives at Baghdad international airport, kicking off his 33rd Apostolic Journey abroad and the very first papal visit to Iraq.

By Linda Bordoni

Messages of peace and blessing: Papal telegrams from flight to Iraq
Pope Francis boards the papal plane at Rome's Fiumicino airport
05 March 2021. Pope Francis sends telegrams to heads of state as the papal plane flies over their countries, headed for Iraq.

As is customary, Pope Francis has sent telegrams to heads of state of countries the papal plane flies over as it heads to Iraq, where the Holy Father will be making an Apostolic Visit from 5-8 March.

Catholic aid agencies: Rebuilding lives and livelihoods in Iraq
Regina Lynch, Director of Projects, Aid to the Church in Need International, ROACO Representative04 March 2021. The Pope's visit to Iraq will raise awareness on the presence and important role played by local Christians. Regina Lynch directs projects assisting Iraqis and is travelling with Pope Francis as the ROACO aid agencies representative.

By Anne Preckel

Pope to Iraq: 'I come as pilgrim of peace, seeking fraternity, reconciliation'
Pope to Iraq: 'I come as pilgrim of peace, seeking fraternity,  reconciliation' - Vatican News04 March 2021. Pope Francis sends a video message to the people of Iraq, to share a message of peace, fraternity and comfort, as he prepares for his Apostolic Visit which begins on Friday.

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ

Abdel Salam: Popeā€™s visit to Iraq significant for entire Arab region
Pope Francis meeting Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam in the Vatican in February 2019.04 March 2021. On the eve of Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Iraq, the secretary-general of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity underscores the values of solidarity and coexistence emphasized by the Pope in his encyclical Fratelli tutti.

Vatican News

Archbishop of Erbil: Papal visit is a gift for all Iraqi people
Erbil prepares for Apostolic Visit by Pope Francis
04 March 2021. Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil is calling for prayers for the papal visit and expresses his hopes for positive outcomes. He will welcome the Pope on Sunday when he arrives in the northern autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

By Thaddeus Jones & Sr. Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

Iraq: Cardinal Sako says ā€˜something has already changedā€™ in the nation
Cardinal Louis Sako speaks to the media about the preparations for Pope Francis' arrival in Iraq03 March 2021. Awaiting Pope Francis’ arrival in Iraq on Friday, 5 March, Iraqis of all faiths are preparing to welcome him. The Chaldean Patriarch, Cardinal Sako, says hopes are high for a spiritual renewal in the name of fraternity.

By Stefano Leszczynski & Linda Bordoni

EU Bishops call for nations to protect work-free Sunday
People enjoy Sunday leisure time near the Pantheon in Rome, Italy04 March 2021. The Bishops of the European Union and the European Sunday Alliance are urging EU leaders to protect synchronized free-time, which most nations traditionally observe on Sunday.

By Lisa Zengarini

Christians in Iraq: The past century in a nutshell
Christians in Iraq repair a cross in Qaraqosh, in Nineveh province
04 March 2021. After centuries of Ottoman rule, Iraq emerged as a political unit of its own one hundred years ago. Over the past century, Iraqi Christians have witnessed times of wealth and peaceful coexistence, but they have also had to endure some horrible wars and persecutions.

By Emil Anton

Pope calls for end to violence against Myanmar protesters
Tear gas floats around demonstrators at a protest in Yangon03 March 2021. Pope Francis appeals for an end to violence against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, and calls on the military junta to release political prisoners and allow the country to continue its journey toward democracy.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis asks for prayers for his visit to Iraq
An Iraqi citizen takes a "selfie" against a banner welcoming Pope Francis03 March 2021. In the run-up to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit to Iraq, he asks the faithful to accompany his journey with prayers so it may bear fruit for the Middle Eastern nation.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope at Audience: Prayer opens us to the Trinity
Pope Francis gives his catechesis during the weekly General Audience03 March 2021. At Wednesday’s Audience, Pope Francis says we have access to the Trinity through prayer, thanks to Jesus.

By Christopher Wells

Cardinal Parolin: Pope Francisā€™ visit is sign of closeness to the Church in Iraq
Cardinal Parolin: Pope Francis' visit is sign of closeness to the Church in  Iraq - Vatican News02 March 2021. In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, looks ahead to Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Iraq and reflects on its significance for the Church and the people in the long-suffering middle eastern nation.

By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ

Pope's prayer intention for March: The sacrament of reconciliation
Pope's prayer intention for March: The sacrament of reconciliation -  Vatican News02 March 2021. Pope Francis' prayer intention for March seeks to highlight the joy that the Sacrament of Reconciliation brings, and reminds us that it’s a loving and merciful encounter between us and God. The Pope Video for March has been published, with the prayer intention that Pope Francis is entrusting to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

Iraq: An overview of the Church and of the country's Christian communities
Iraqi Christans attend a prayer service at the Syriac Catholic Church in the town of Qaraqosh in Niniveh province, Iraq
01 March 2021. Pope Francis is to undertake the first-ever apostolic journey to Iraq from 5 to 8 March. We offer an overview of the nation's ancientand diverse Christian communities, of their plight and of their challenges.

By Lisa Zengarini

Pope to Franciscan Centre for Solidarity: continue your work, following in Jesus' steps
Pope Francis meets with members of the Franciscan Centre for Solidarity in the Vatican's Clementine Hall
01 March 2021. Pope Francis meets with members of the Franciscan Centre for Solidarity, based in Florence, and thanks them for their thirty years of service sowing the seeds of the Kingdom of God.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: ā€œThere are not two Popesā€

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

28 February 2021. n an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI recalls that his renunciation of the papacy was a “difficult choice” but made “in full conscience,” believing that he did well.

By Vatican News

Pope Francis prays for people suffering from rare diseases
Members of a solidarity association in St. Peter's Square hold a banner reading: "World Rare Diseases Day"
28 February 2021. On World Rare Diseases Day, Pope Francis recalls medical researchers and people suffering from rare diseases, as Cardinal Peter Turkson urges policymakers to guarantee their right to healthcare.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis: ā€˜A faith without doubts cannot advanceā€™
File photo of Pope Francis
28 February 2021. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera releases excerpts from Don Marco Pozza’s new book-length interview with Pope Francis, in which he explores how doubts and crises of faith lead us deeper into the mystery of God.

By Vatican News

Pope at Angelus: Prayer lifts us out of spiritual laziness to help others
Pope Francis leads the Angelus prayer on Sunday
28 February 2021. At the Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis reflects on the Transfiguration of Jesus, and urges Christians to turn our experience of prayer into a desire to carry hope to the world.

By Devin Watkins