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Maker of rosary for 2024 National Eucharistic Congress hopes to inspire Eucharistic devotion

The official rosary for the 2024 National Eucharistic Congress. / Credit: Ghirelli

CNA Staff, Mar 1, 2024 / 07:00 am (CNA).

The Catholic rosary company Ghirelli recently announced its partnership with the National Eucharistic Congress in making the official rosary for the congress, which will be held July 17–21 in Indianapolis.

Founded by Alessandro and Cinzia Ghirelli, the family-run company has been crafting rosaries for more than 30 years. It has created the official rosaries used by the past three popes that are given by the Holy Father to special guests during his audiences and apostolic journeys. 

Ghirelli has worked with Catholic shrines around the world — including Fatima, Knock, Lourdes, and others — to create their official rosaries. Now, the company is supplying the official rosary for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress.

Dino Piccinini, managing director of Ghirelli in the United States, spoke with CNA about the inspiration behind the rosary for the congress.

Piccinini explained that the rosary is “very Eucharistic in nature. The inspiration is the monstrance.”

“The centerpiece is a miniature version of the monstrance that’s going to be at the congress in July that’s going to be holding the Blessed Sacrament,” he said.

He shared that Ghirelli was able to use drawings and renderings of the monstrance created for the National Eucharistic Congress in order to replicate it in great detail. 

The design of the crucifix is based on John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches.”

“It’s natural. It’s earthy. And we pulled that theme into making it into a crucifix because there’s passages that say Jesus was hung on a tree, which is symbolic of the cross,” Piccinini explained.

“It just made sense that we have kind of a double whammy of a Eucharistic theme,” he added. “So, we’ve got the grapes on the vines and we have the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament inside.”

Piccinini hopes that this rosary will inspire people to “increase their devotion to the Eucharist and at the same time to the devotion of the rosary because we all know that the rosary is a very powerful weapon against all the battles that are happening.”

“I think having the Eucharist and increasing the devotion to the Eucharist and receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist more often and also praying the rosary more frequently, I think people will be in such a better place and it’ll bring people back to the Church.”

“We share in the mission the congress has set; we just want the renewal of the Church in our country and in the world,” Piccinini said.

The rosary can also be bought on the EWTN Religious Catalog.

How the U.S. bishops are reaching non-Catholics on issues of marriage and sexuality 

Credit: Tymonk Galyna via www.shutterstock.com

CNA Staff, Mar 1, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

The U.S. bishops announced a new initiative last week designed to “bring clarity and compassion” to issues surrounding love, marriage, and sexuality by addressing “hidden assumptions about love.”

The Love Means More (LMM) initiative is meant to reflect the foundational principles of the Catholic understanding of love in a way that anyone — even those who are against Church teaching — can understand.

The initiative is based on a new website, Love Means More, which organizes hot-button issues “around one basic question: What is love?” explained Andrew Buonopane, the assistant director for marriage and family life for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Misunderstanding love 

Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, who heads the committee leading the initiative, noted in a press release that conversations on these issues can be “confusing and polarizing” but hopes that LMM will bring “clarity and compassion.” 

“Cultural narratives tell us love is mostly about feeling good,” Barron continued. “True love is deeper than that, calling us to follow Christ’s example of sacrificial love so we can live in union with him forever.”

LMM leads with “common experience” so as to be “intelligible to Catholics and non-Catholics alike,” Buonopane explained. 

The initiative “addresses common objections and points back to God’s distinctive, total self-gift,” he continued. 

“If someone dives straight into the middle, say, at the question about contraception, they’ll see that it’s situated within a larger treatment of chastity, sexual relationship, marriage, eros, agape, and love in general,” Buonopane noted.

“That way, there’s a better chance that the reader’s hidden assumptions about love, prior to any resistance to Church teaching on contraception, can be addressed too,” he said. 

Preventing alienation 

The bishops hope to reach two groups of people, Buonopane said: those who are “wounded” and “alienated from the love of Christ” but also those who, in their “attempts to defend a particular truth … cause more harm than good.” 

“If your personal experience is anything like mine, you probably have people in your life that fall into both of these camps,” he said. 

“I’ve sat with friends who were living unchastely or who experienced gender discordance, and they had certain expectations about what someone coming from a Catholic perspective would say,” he continued. “Those expectations didn’t align with the approaches that Jesus, Aquinas, or recent popes would actually take, largely because of unproductive encounters with fundamentalists or misguided Catholics.”

“I’ve also had conversations with people from that side, where I thought there was more agreement, until I heard how they arrived at their position,” he continued. “The strange thing is that the encounters between these two sides are simultaneously too confrontational and not direct enough.”

Buonopane said that these kinds of discussions “only address the point of disagreement indirectly” and often cause “each side” to “become more convinced that the other hated them.” 

Building off the past  

The approach builds on Christ’s approach as described in the 1965 Vatican document Gaudium et Spes (“Joy and Hope”), Buonopane noted.

Buonopane pointed out a key quote from Gaudium et Spes: “By the revelation of the mystery of the Father and his love, [Christ] fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.”

Christ is “truly universal and truly distinctive at the same time,” and so “he’s the only one that can make it possible for us to receive and give the Father’s agape love,” he explained.

“That love is so universal that it can enter into any other kind of love in any human relationship and bring out its full character,” he said. 

Buonopane pointed out that Christ is direct when questioned by the Pharisees. 

“Because he’s truly universal, when he disagrees with his hearers, he’s not coming out of left field,” he said. “He’s able to use reasoning that they understand on their own terms (even if they don’t always end up agreeing).”

In mourning, actor Gary Sinise extols his son’s musical legacy, love of the Catholic faith

Mac Sinise, son of actor Gary Sinise, performs with the Lt. Dan Band. / Credit: The Gary Sinise Foundation

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 29, 2024 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Gary Sinise, the Catholic actor who played Lt. Dan in the 1994 movie “Forrest Gump,” announced the death of his 33-year-old son Mac, the victim of a rare form of cancer.

Sinise, also known for his starring role in the television series “CSI: New York,” shared the sad news this week, more than five years after Mac was diagnosed with chordoma, a rare type of bone cancer that, according to the Mayo Clinic, “usually forms in the bones of the spine or in the skull.”

Since 2017, Mac, also a Catholic, worked alongside his father at the Gary Sinise Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting U.S. military veterans, first responders, and their families.

On Feb. 28, Sinise shared on the foundation’s website that his family was “heartbroken” and “managing as best we can.”

The actor noted that “Mac was a man who loved his Catholic faith, and there is no doubt that his strong faith sustained him through the awful five-and-a-half-year battle with this crippling chordoma cancer.”

Mac was a gifted musician, having graduated from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. He collaborated with his dad’s Lt. Dan Band shows and before his death recorded a soon-to-be released album, “Mac Sinise: Resurrection and Revival.”

​​”As parents, it is so difficult losing a child. My heart goes out to all who have suffered a similar loss, and to anyone who has lost a loved one,” Sinise continued. “While our hearts ache at missing him, we are comforted in knowing that Mac is no longer struggling, and inspired and moved by how he managed it.”

Sinise also shared his son’s favorite quote, taken from St. Augustine: “You have made us for yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

In 2016, the actor openly shared the story of his family’s spiritual journey on EWTN’s “The World Over with Raymond Arroyo” as well as his commitment from an early age to supporting members of the military and veterans, inspired by both his and his wife’s veteran family members.

Sinise’s journey to the Catholic faith began in the 1990s when his wife, Irish actress Moira Harris, rediscovered her Catholic roots and began regularly attending Mass. The family followed her and attended Harris’ confirmation on Easter Sunday in 2000.

In December 2010, the actor received the sacrament of confirmation. “I see now that my work with veterans over the past 30 years and my journey being confirmed in the Catholic Church are very much a part of the same story,” he told CNA at the time.

Shortly after his confirmation, Sinise felt he could do still more to serve veterans.

“I felt called by God and compelled to use all the tools and notoriety that I had been blessed with and all the work I had done with the military over the years to serve in a more substantial way to create something that could be here for the long haul,” Sinise said, and in 2011, he started the Gary Sinise Foundation.

In addition to building custom smart homes for numerous veterans, the foundation offers multiple programs and resources that honor and help veterans and their families successfully adjust to life after combat.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Polish nunciature: Archbishop’s resignation linked to negligence in addressing abuse claims

The Apostolic Nunciature of Poland has revealed further information regarding the resignation of Polish Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga, indicating that he stepped down due to alleged negligence in overseeing sexual abuse claims. / Credit: Redaktor01|Wikimedia|GFDL

CNA Staff, Feb 29, 2024 / 17:30 pm (CNA).

The Apostolic Nunciature of Poland has revealed further information regarding the resignation of Polish Archbishop Andrzej Dzięga, indicating that he stepped down due to alleged negligence in overseeing sexual abuse claims.

The Holy Father accepted Dzięga’s resignation last week. Neither the nunciature nor the Vatican had immediately given a reason for his departure. The prelate, meanwhile, had published a two-page resignation letter on Feb. 24 in which he cited a “radical weakening of my condition.” 

In the letter, he apologized to his “brother priests,” saying: “If my weaknesses, including incomplete understanding of specific circumstances, and sometimes even my ordinary human fatigue, became the cause of your anxiety, I am sorry.” The prelate has faced allegations that he ignored abuse cases in Poland.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Poland subsequently released a statement addressing the controversy, saying that the release was in “response to emerging questions” regarding the archbishop’s departure. 

The “decisions related to the departure of Archbishop Andrzej Dziega from the office of the metropolitan archbishop of Szczecin-Kamień were undertaken as a result of an investigation conducted on behalf of the Holy See regarding the management of the diocese,” the announcement said. 

The decision was related “in particular [to] the negligence referred to in the papal document Vos Estis Lux Mundi,” the statement said. 

Pope Francis first promulgated Vos Estis Lux Mundi in May 2019. The directive, first established on an experimental basis for a period of three years, established norms to counter sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. 

The document established “concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church,” Pope Francis wrote in the decree, “so that personal sanctity and moral commitment can contribute to promoting the full credibility of the Gospel message and the effectiveness of the Church’s mission.” It was expanded and made permanent in 2023. 

According to a 2021 report by the Polish Catholic outlet Więź, the Polish nunciature had received four reports from three separate individuals alleging that Dzięga covered up cases of sexual abuse. 

The report noted that the complaints were submitted following the publication of Vos Estis Lux Mundi.

In 2021 the Polish television network TVN24 aired a documentary alleging that Dzięga knew about abuse allegations against Father Andrzej Dymer as early as 1995 but took no action. 

According to Polish media, Dymer was convicted by a Church tribunal in 2008 of sexually abusing minors. Dymer appealed but died in 2021 before the appeal was adjudicated.

Biden says he disagrees with Catholic Church’s stance on IVF

President Joe Biden tells EWTN News' Owen Jensen he disagrees with the Catholic Church's position on IVF, Feb. 29, 2024. / Credit: EWTN News

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 29, 2024 / 16:35 pm (CNA).

President Joe Biden expressed today his disagreement with the Catholic Church’s position that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is immoral because it kills countless unborn human babies.

As the controversy continues after an Alabama Supreme Court ruling established the personhood of unborn babies conceived through IVF, Biden was asked by EWTN White House correspondent Owen Jensen on Thursday what he thought about the Church’s position on the issue. 

“The Catholic Church says IVF is immoral and wrong because it destroys countless human embryos. What do you say to that?” Jensen asked.

“I don’t agree with that position,” Biden responded before walking away.

IVF is a medical procedure that fuses sperm and egg in a lab environment to conceive a child outside of the sexual act. The live embryo is later implanted into a uterus to continue developing until birth.

While the Church encourages certain fertility treatments for couples struggling to have children, the use of IVF is contrary to Catholic teachings because it separates the marriage act from procreation and destroys embryonic human life.

Although Biden is a professed Catholic, he criticized the Alabama ruling as a “disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families.”

He said that the decision was “outrageous” and “unacceptable,” calling it a “direct result of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”

Biden and the Democrats are not the only ones voicing support for IVF in the wake of the Alabama decision. Several leading Republicans, including former president Donald Trump, have urged more legislation to broaden legal protections for IVF.

On Thursday the Alabama House overwhelmingly approved a bill that grants immunity to IVF providers in cases of death or injury to unborn babies during the IVF process. The Republican majority House passed the bill in a 94-6 vote that says that “no action, suit, or criminal prosecution shall be brought or maintained against any individual or entity providing goods or services related to in vitro fertilization.”

Joseph Meaney, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, told CNA that ignorance of the Catholic position on IVF is a major issue. 

“If you go to church faithfully for an entire year every Sunday, what are the chances of you hearing the Church’s teaching on IVF mentioned? It’s pretty low,” Meaney said. “There are tons of people who don’t know what the Church teaches.”

Meaney urged Catholics to educate themselves on the topic, pointing to the 1987 Vatican document Donum Vitae as a starting point to understand the Church’s teachings on IVF. 

Putin warns West of nuclear war risk over Ukraine troop deployment

In this pool photograph distributed by Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual state of the nation address at the Gostiny Dvor conference center in central Moscow on Feb. 29, 2024. / Credit: GAVRIIL GRIGOROV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

CNA Staff, Feb 29, 2024 / 16:05 pm (CNA).

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a speech on Thursday cautioned that any Western military intervention in support of Ukraine could potentially lead to nuclear conflict.

“[The West] must understand that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory,” Putin, who is widely expected to hold onto power in an upcoming election, said in a Feb. 29 speech to Russia’s Federal Assembly. 

Warning of “tragic consequences” if NATO forces were ever deployed to Ukraine, Putin continued, as reported by the Washington Post: “All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization. Don’t they get that? ... [Russia’s] strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness.”

Putin’s speech came two days after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that the deployment of foreign forces to Ukraine remained an option.

“We will do everything needed so Russia cannot win the war,” Macron said at a news conference. He said there is no consensus to “send in” troops on the ground, but said “nothing can be ruled out.”

In response to Macron’s remarks, the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the idea that Europe could send ground troops to Ukraine opens a “frightening scenario” that could “bring about the escalation that we have always tried to avoid from the beginning.”

“It’s a scenario that I wouldn’t call apocalyptic because perhaps that’s an exaggerated word at this moment, but certainly it’s fearsome,” Parolin said Feb. 27, as reported by Vatican News.

The cardinal, who has called for peace in Ukraine but also previously warned of the dangers of escalation, lamented that “no prospect of a solution on the horizon, be it military or negotiated.”

“It would be ideal to really find a way to get the two sides to start talking and dialoguing,” Parolin added to Vatican News. “I believe that if we talk, a solution will be found.” 

Pope Francis has spoken before of the danger of the possibility of a nuclear war “that will extinguish us.” The pope’s words came shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine, at the start of which Putin ordered Russian nuclear forces to be put on high alert, raising fears of the possibility of a nuclear war.

Alabama House passes bill protecting IVF

The Alabama State House, located in Montgomery, Alabama. / Credit: Chris Pruitt|Wikimedia|CC BY-SA 3.0

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 29, 2024 / 15:30 pm (CNA).

The Alabama House overwhelmingly approved a bill on Thursday that grants immunity to in vitro fertilization (IVF) providers in cases of death or injury to unborn babies during the IVF process. 

The Republican-majority House passed the bill in a 94-6 vote just a week after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that unborn babies conceived through IVF are human children protected under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act.

Introduced by Republican state Reps. Terri Collins and David Faulkner, the bill specifically bypasses the court’s reading of the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act and says that “no action, suit, or criminal prosecution shall be brought or maintained against any individual or entity providing goods or services related to in vitro fertilization.”

IVF is a fertility treatment in which doctors fuse sperm and eggs to create human embryos and implant them in the mother’s womb without a sexual act. Embryos that are intended to be implanted later are frozen. Undesired embryos are routinely destroyed or used for scientific research, which kills those preborn children.

The Catholic Church is staunchly opposed to IVF.

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and the Alabama Policy Institute issued a joint statement before the bill’s passage criticizing lawmakers for supporting legislation that they claim conflicts with pro-life principles.

“It is unacceptable [that] the Alabama Legislature has advanced a bill that falls short of pro-life expectations and fails to respect the dignity of human life,” the statement read.

“Alabama can do both: allow the continued practice of IVF with care for those suffering from infertility and respect life created through the IVF,” the statement continued. “We have full confidence that the same legislature that passed a law protecting the unborn throughout pregnancy will also take this crucial step to continue protecting all human life in keeping with the people of Alabama, who are ardently pro-life.”

The bill will advance to the Alabama Senate for further consideration.

What happens to the saints whose feast day falls on Feb. 29 when there is no leap year?

null / Credit: Brigitte Pica2/Shutterstock

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 29, 2024 / 15:00 pm (CNA).

The Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII (1502–1585), is used almost throughout the world and establishes that every fourth year is a leap year that has one extra day, Feb. 29. What is little known is that the Church also commemorates some saints on this day — but what happens to them the other three years?

On Feb. 29 the Church commemorates the martyr St. Augustus Chapdelaine, a French priest and member of the Paris Foreign Missions Society. In 1852 he traveled as a missionary to China and years later he was denounced as a Christian before an anti-Christian official. He died on Feb. 29, 1856.

Feb. 29 is also the feast day of St. Hilary. “Lives of the Saints” by Father Alban Butler notes that he was elected pontiff while still a deacon. Historians differ whether he died on Feb. 28 or 29, perhaps because he died in the leap year of 468.

St. Oswald, who was the archbishop of York in England, is also commemorated on this day. According to the Franciscan directory of saints, he died Feb. 29, 992, after he had washed the feet of 12 beggars and eaten with them.

The research website on the saints “Santi e Beati” (“Saints and Blesseds”) explains that all these saints, along with the Franciscan Blessed Antonia of Florence, are celebrated on Feb. 29 — but that when there is no leap year their feast day moves to Feb. 28.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

What should a Lenten homily be like? God told a saint

Bishop Thomas Paprocki preaches the opening Mass of the Corpus Christi Priory in Springfield. / Photo credit: Diocese of Springfield

ACI Prensa Staff, Feb 29, 2024 / 12:40 pm (CNA).

A little-known story in the annals of the Church is that God gave St. Angelo d’Acri (1669–1739), born in a small town in southern Italy, advice on what homilies should be like during the liturgical season of Lent. Acting on that advice, the saint packed churches with the faithful and obtained many conversions.

The book “Lives of the Saints” by Father Alban Butler recounts how St. Angelo wanted to be a Capuchin Franciscan, but he left the community on two occasions because he couldn’t bear the rigorous way of life. The third time he tried, he stayed and was ordained a priest. It is said that at his first Mass he was transported in ecstasy.

His superiors gave him the assignment to give the sermons during Lent. The saint prepared himself with great care, but when he stepped in the pulpit his memory failed him and he didn’t know what to say. He was greatly discouraged and returned very depressed to his convent before Lent ended.

One day, while reflecting on his failure, he asked God to help him. He then heard a divine voice that told him: “Do not be afraid. I will give you the gift of preaching.” The saint, surprised, asked the voice who he was and the voice answered: “I am who am.”

Something similar happened to Moses when God asked him to free his people from the slavery of Egypt. The Old Testament passage relates: “God said to Moses, ‘I am who am.’ Then the Lord added: ‘This is how you will speak to the Israelites: “I am” sent me to you’” (Ex 3:14).

As St. Angelo’s mystical experiences continued, the story goes, the divine voice gave him the following key for his homilies: “From now on, preach simply, as if you were conversing, so that everyone can understand you.” So the priest stopped consulting his books on oratory and rhetoric and began to prepare his sermons with the Bible and before a crucifix.

Little by little he gained a lot of success in the town, but he didn’t achieve the same results with the nobility and the wealthy. A cardinal asked him to preach during Lent in Naples, Italy, and the priest’s simple homily was ridiculed and dismissed by the wealthy people. For two days the church was almost empty.

The local priest didn’t want the saint to continue preaching, but the cardinal paid no attention. This created a scandal and made the nobility — who were also very gossipy — go to the church to see the outcome. But they were unexpectedly surprised.

In a church packed with the faithful, the saint asked at the end of his sermon that they pray for a person who was present there and who was going to die. The Mass ended and as the people left murmuring about that request, a lawyer who used to mock the priest fell dead to the floor. Everyone was astonished and the priest’s reputation for holiness spread.

The churches where St. Angelo went to preach were always full, and he obtained many conversions. He performed miraculous healings, had the gift of bilocation, could read thoughts, and predicted the future. His feast day is Oct. 30.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Here is Pope Francis’ schedule for Holy Week and Easter 2024 at the Vatican

Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on April 8, 2023. / Credit: Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Feb 29, 2024 / 12:10 pm (CNA).

The Vatican has released Pope Francis’ schedule for Holy Week 2024, which will include five papal liturgies, Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum, and other traditions to mark the most sacred week of the year.

Easter is the highest feast in the Catholic Church, known as the “solemnity of solemnities,” celebrating Jesus’ resurrection and defeat of sin and death, and the Vatican celebrates Holy Week with pomp, reverence, tradition, and a busy schedule.

The 87-year-old pope is scheduled to preside over liturgies on each day of the Easter Triduum as well as Palm Sunday. 

The Holy See Press Office published the pope’s Holy Week schedule one day after Pope Francis visited the hospital for diagnostic tests. Reuters reported that the pope had a CT scan during the hospital checkup. Last year, Pope Francis was discharged from the hospital one day before presiding over Palm Sunday Mass.

Holy Week 2024 begins on March 24 with Palm Sunday and culminates with Easter on March 31. Here is the Vatican’s full schedule:

Palm Sunday

Pope Francis presides over Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square on April 2, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis presides over Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square on April 2, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

On Sunday morning, March 24, Pope Francis is scheduled to preside over Mass for Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday or the Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem.

The Mass, which will be in St. Peter’s Square at 10 a.m. local time, will kick off with a grand procession of deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, and laypeople carrying palms.

The procession includes olive tree branches, palm fronds, and the large, weaved palms called “parmureli,” all blessed by Pope Francis.

Holy Thursday

Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of 12 young men and women, inmates at Casal del Marmo juvenile detention center on Rome’s outskirts, during a Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Credit: Vatican Media
Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of 12 young men and women, inmates at Casal del Marmo juvenile detention center on Rome’s outskirts, during a Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis is set to start Holy Thursday with a chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at 9:30 a.m. in the presence of cardinals, bishops, and priests living in Rome.

During the Mass, Pope Francis, as the bishop of Rome, will bless the oil of the sick, the oil of catechumens, and the chrism oil to be used in the diocese during the coming year.

The Vatican has yet to release the details for where Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass 2024. Last year, the pope offered Mass at the juvenile detention center Casal del Marmo, the same detention center where he offered Holy Thursday Mass in 2013 shortly after his election.

Good Friday

Pope Francis arrives at the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter's Basilica on Good Friday on April 7, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis arrives at the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion in St. Peter's Basilica on Good Friday on April 7, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Continuing the liturgies of the Triduum, Pope Francis is also scheduled to preside over a celebration for the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday at 5 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.

During this liturgy, which is not a Mass, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, the papal preacher, typically preaches instead of the pope.

In the evening, Pope Francis will lead the Stations of the Cross devotion at 9:15 p.m. in Rome’s Colosseum illuminated by candlelight.

Holy Saturday

Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil Mass at the Vatican on April 8, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Pope Francis at the Easter Vigil Mass at the Vatican on April 8, 2023. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA

On Holy Saturday, Pope Francis is set to preside over the Easter Vigil at 7:30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Easter Vigil, which takes place on Holy Saturday night, “is the greatest and most noble of all solemnities,” according to the Roman Missal.

The liturgy begins in darkness with the blessing of the new fire and the preparation of the paschal candle. At the Vatican, cardinals, bishops, and priests process through the dark basilica carrying lit candles to signify the light of Christ coming to dispel the darkness.

Pope Francis also typically baptizes new Catholics at this Mass.

Easter Sunday

Credit: Pablo Esparza/CNA
Credit: Pablo Esparza/CNA

The morning of Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will preside over Mass in St. Peter’s Square at 10 a.m. on a flower-decked parvise.

After Mass, he will give the annual Easter “urbi et orbi” blessing at noon from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Urbi et orbi” means “to the city [of Rome] and to the world” and is a special apostolic blessing given by the pope every year on Easter Sunday, Christmas, and other special occasions.

In 2023, local authorities estimated that there were close to 100,000 people present in St. Peter’s Square for the blessing.