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Long-lost Vasari painting on show in Rome

Galleria Corsini in Rome shows rediscovered Vasari masterpiece.
25 Jan-30 June.

A recently rediscovered painting by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) is on public display for the first time at Galleria Corsini in Rome.

Cristo portacroce was painted in 1553 by Vasari, the Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, best known today for his masterful Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects.

The long-lost painting, which shows Christ carrying the cross, was rediscovered at an auction in Connecticut after expert Carlo Falciani recognised it from a drawing in Vasari’s archive.

Commissioned by banker and patron of the arts Bindo Altoviti, the painting was bought subsequently by the House of Savoy before disappearing for centuries until its surprise reappearance in the US.

ADDRESS: Via della Lungara, 10, 00165 Roma RM, Italia

Vatican train to Barberini Garden at Castel Gandolfo

Train from Vatican City to the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo every Saturday.

Each Saturday a train connects the tiny railway station at Vatican City with the Pontifical Villas and Barberini Gardens at Castel Gandolfo, the historic papal retreat in the hills about 25 km south-east of Rome.
With spectacular views over Lake Albano, the 30-hectare Barberini gardens at Castel Gandolfo feature ancient Roman ruins dating back to Emperor Domitian as well as a square of holly oaks, paths of roses and aromatic herbs, and a magnolia garden.

Castel Gandolfo has acted as a papal retreat since the 17th century but in 2014 was opened to the public by Pope Francis for the first time.

Pope Francis at Angelus: the Kingdom of God grows mysteriously

On Sunday, before thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis explains the two parables about the Kingdom of God from the Gospel of the day before the recitation of the Angelus.

Pope Francis reflected on the two parables regarding the “Kingdom of God and its dynamic growth” from the Sunday Gospel (Mark 4:26-34) before reciting the Angelus on Sunday before thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square.

The Kingdom grows by its own power

Jesus uses the first parable (Mark 26-29) to compare the Kingdom of God to “the mysterious growth of a seed” which is sown, sprouts, grows and produces grain “independent of the care of the farmer”, the Pope said. The message is that the kingdom of God has “erupted on the field of the world”, through Jesus’ preaching and action. The Kingdom grows and develops not as a work of human labor but “of its own power, and according to criteria that are humanly speaking indecipherable…. [It] is above all an expression of the power and the goodness of God”, Pope Francis said.

The Kingdom grows mysteriously.

When human history seems to develop contrary to the will of God, the Pope said that “we are called to live this period as a season of trial, of hope and in vigilant waiting for the harvest”. The Kingdom grows mysteriously; its power is hidden in a small seed that is filled with “victorious vitality”. When times are dark, we need to trust in “God’s quiet but powerful action,” and “remain anchored in God’s faithfulness, in his presence which always saves”, he said.

The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed

The meaning of this parable is “the logic God’s unpredictability” which is not easy for us to accept. Jesus invites us to a faith that exceeds calculation and forecasts. “It is an invitation to open ourselves with greater generosity to God’s plans over our own personal … plans”. The Lord offers us occasions “to be involved in his dynamics of love, of welcoming, and of mercy toward all”. It is up to us to be aware of those opportunities.

The Pope concluded his reflection saying that “courageously moving forward in trust and humble abandonment in God” is the means by which we can judge the “authenticity of the mission of the Church”. Placing ourselves in God’s hands, aware of “being small and weak instruments”, we can accomplish great works” and allow “his Kingdom —a kingdom of justice, peace and joy in the Spirit—to progress”.

Pope at General Audience: ‘we are called to be gifts for others’

Pope Francis urged Christians who receive the many gifts of the Holy Spirit to give back to others, and not to keep those gifts only for themselves “as if the soul were a store-room”.

Addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope continued in his series of reflections dedicated to the Sacrament of Confirmation, calling on all faithful to never stop sharing the Holy Spirit’s gifts for the good of all.


Reminding all Christians that they are called to be “a gift for others”, he said one of Holy Spirit’s gifts allows us to share in the life and mission of the Church “uniting the faithful evermore strongly” as living members of the mystical body of the Church.

No masters and simple workers in the Church

Explaining that we must think of the Church as a living organism, composed of people, Francis highlighted the fact that in the Church “there are no masters or simple workers”, but arm-in-arm, all together, we all share the responsibility to sanctify each other and care for each other.


Pope Francis reflected on how the gift of the Holy Spirit, received during the Sacrament of Confirmation, is conferred upon the faithful by the diocesan Bishop in a sign of its ecclesial dimension.

And he highlighted the fact that it is the sign of peace that concludes the rite saying that in that moment we receive “the Holy Spirit and peace” and it is that peace that we must give to others.

One vice that destroys that peace, Francis continued, is the habit of gossiping, of speaking badly of others. “Gossip is war” he said describing its intention to destroy and wreak damage, while Christ’s disciples are called to be “men and women of peace,” not to destroy the work of the Holy Spirit “with the tongue”.


Pope Francis concluded his catechesis saying Confirmation is received only once, but “because the Spirit is creative and not repetitive, the spiritual dynamism aroused by the Holy anointment perseveres in time.”

“We who have received this Sacrament, he said, must never stop opening our hearts to the liberating breath of the Holy Spirit and fan into flame the gifts we have received” for the good of one another, of the whole Church and of the world in which we live.”

Pope: Church’s social doctrine helps build economic justice, equality, inclusion

Pope Francis on Saturday urged that the richness of the social teaching of the Catholic Church be spread across the world to help build a global culture of economic justice, equality and inclusion.


“The current difficulties and crises within the global economic system have an undeniable ethical dimension,” the Pope said. “They are related to a mentality of egoism and exclusion that has effectively created a culture of waste blind to the human dignity of the most vulnerable,” the Pope told participants in an international conference organized by the Centesimus Annus pro Pontifice Foundation.

St. Pope John Paul II instituted the foundation in 1993 to promote the Church’s social doctrine, especially as outlined in his 1991 encyclical, “Centesimus Annus” with which he commemorated 100 years of Pope Leo XXIII’s landmark encyclical on the social teaching of the Church.

Participants in the May 24-26 Rome conference discussed the theme, “New Policies and Lifestyles in the Digital Age.”


In his talk, Pope Francis lamented the growing “globalization of indifference” that places “manifold obstacles to the integral human development” of many men and women both in poor as well as developed countries.

He particularly pointed to the “urgent ethical issues associated with the global movements of migration.”

The Holy Father also denounced the “false dichotomy” between the ethical teachings of religious traditions and the practical concerns of today’s business community. He said there is a natural bond between profit and social responsibility, an “indissoluble connection […] between an ethics respectful of persons and the common good, and the actual functionality of every economic financial system.”


Noting that the conference discussed how “uncertain job opportunities” and the “impact of the digital cultural revolution” threaten families, the Pope said the contribution of the foundation is an expression of the Church’s concern for young people and families.

The Pope also noted that the presence of the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, was an “eloquent sign of this common responsibility.”

Pope Francis: pilgrim to the Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love

The Pope was welcomed to the shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love (Madonna del Divino Amore) by the vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, the auxiliary bishop for the southern sector, Bishop Paolo Lujudice, along with the sanctuary’s director, and the current parish priest. The welcome party also included the representatives of the Sons and Daughters of Our Lady of Divine Love based at the shrine.
After reciting the rosary before the medieval icon of the Madonna and Child, the Pontiff blessed the tomb of Servant of God, Father Umberto Terenzi, the first rector of the Divino Amore parish and the founder of two religious orders. He then met with elderly parishioners who were baptised by Father Terenzi, the priest who founded the parish on the site of the sanctuary, which lies on the Via Ardeatina, 12km to the south of Rome.

Pope Francis also greeted residents of both the Divino Amore retirement home and the Family House of Mater Divini Amoris, which is run by the Congregation of the Sons of Divine Love and provides shelter for children and infants.

Pope to visit Bari to pray for peace in Middle East

The director of the Holy See press office told journalists that the ecumenical encounter will take place on July 7th

Pope Francis will visit the southern Italian city of Bari on July 7th for a day of reflection and prayer for peace in the Middle East.

The head of the Vatican press office, Greg Burke, told journalists on Wednesday that the Pope intends to invite the heads of other Churches and Christian communities in the region to the ecumenical encounter.

A statement from the press office said the Pope is urging people to prepare for this meeting through prayer, recalling “the dramatic situation in the Middle East which afflicts so many brothers and sisters in the faith”.
Third visit to Puglia in five months

Bari is located on the Adriatic coast in Italy’s south-eastern Puglia region. Its airport is named after Pope John Paul II – the Karol Wojtyla airport – and its ancient basilica dedicated to Saint Nicholas is an important place of pilgrimage for both Catholics and Orthodox.

It will mark the Pope’s third visit to the region in five months, following on from his trip to San Giovanni Rotondo in March, to pray at the tomb of Padre Pio, and to the towns of Alessano and Molfetta in April to recall the legacy of former bishop Don Tonino Bello.

Pope at Mass: ‘Follow Jesus out of faith, not self-interest’

In his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta on Monday morning, Pope Francis said there are two ways of following Jesus: out of self-interest in his miracles or through faith in his word.

Pope Francis at Mass on Monday warned against following Jesus out of self-interest in his miracles rather than through faith in his word. He invited us to refresh our memory of the wonderful things God has done in our lives, so as to respond with love.
Self-interest of the crowd

The Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel (John 6:22-29), in which the crowd wanted to make Jesus a king after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Jesus, he said, rebuffed them, saying “you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.”

Pope Francis pointed out the two elements of Jesus’ response. On the one hand, he said, they were seeking Jesus in order to feel his Word in their hearts, that is, out of faith. On the other, they were merely curious to see his miracles. The Holy Father said these were good people but their faith was a little too curious and self-seeking.
Stephen’s faith in Jesus

Pope Francis then spoke about another example of faith in Jesus, that of Stephen in the First Reading (Acts 6:8-15). He spoke so clearly, the Pope said, that his interlocutors in the Sanhedrin could not resist his wisdom.

“He followed Jesus without weighing the consequences: ‘this works for me; that doesn’t’… He was not self-interested. He loved. So he followed Jesus sure in his faith. They laid a trap of slander, and they led him into it. So he was stoned to death, giving witness to Jesus.”
Faith or self-interest?

Pope Francis invited us to consider how we follow Jesus. He advised us to refresh our memory of how Jesus has acted in our lives.

“We will find so many great things that Jesus has freely given us, because he loves each one of us. Once I have considered the things Jesus has done for me, I can ask the second question: ‘What should I do for Jesus?’ With these two questions, perhaps we can purify our faith of any self-interest. When I see all that Jesus has given me, my heart generously says: ‘Yes, Lord, I shall give all. I won’t make these mistakes and commit these sins again. I’ll change my life in this way…’ [This is] the road to conversion by love: ‘You’ve given me so much love, so I shall give you my love’.”

Finally, Pope Francis said these two questions can help us to purify our faith of self-interest.

“This is a good test to see how we follow Jesus: ‘Am I self-interested or not?’… ‘What has Jesus done for me in my life out of love?’ And seeing this, ‘what should I do for Jesus?’ ‘How do I respond to his love?’ That’s how we can purify our faith from all self-interest. May the Lord help us along this path.”

Rome hosts major Canaletto exhibition.

Canaletto 1697-1768 exhibition in Rome from 11 April-19 August.

The Museo di Roma at Palazzo Braschi honours the Italian master Canaletto with a major retrospective, the largest exhibition of Canaletto works ever held in Italy. Canaletto 1697-1768 celebrates the 250th anniversary of the death of the great Venetian painter who revolutionised the genre of landscape painting, raising it to the same importance as historical and figurative painting.
The show features 68 works including Canaletto paintings, drawings and archive documents on loan from some of the world’s most important collections.
The exhibition includes several Canaletto masterpieces such as The Grand Canal from the north, towards the Rialto bridge, and The Grand Canal with S. Maria della Carità, exhibited together for the first time, along with the manuscripts detailing their commission.

Piazza di S. Pantaleo, 10, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

World Press Photo 2018 in Rome

World Press Photo exhibition at Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni

27 April-27 May. Each year an independent jury at the World Press Photo Foundation in Amsterdam selects images for this presigious recognition of international photojournalism.

The winners in each of the eight categories as well as the winner of Photo of the Year will be revealed at the awards ceremony during the World Press Photo Festival in Amsterdam on 12 April.
The 2018 exhibition features 307 images by 42 award-winning photographers from 22 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, US and Venezuela.

Address Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale, 194, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy