Pope Francis to miss New Year ceremonies due to sciatic pain

Vatican Secretary of State to celebrate New Year's Day Mass instead of Pope Francis. Pope Francis will not preside over the Vatican's New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations due to "painful sc...

Rome's Christmas religious services and Masses in English

English-language religious services in Rome during the Christmas season will be different in 2020 due to the covid-19 crisis, with protocols such as social distancing, masks and limited numbers applyi...

Vatican: Pope moves Christmas blessing indoors due to covid-19

Pope will not read Urbi et Orbi message from the balcony of St Peter's this year. Pope Francis will deliver his traditional Christmas message indoors this year instead of from the outdoor central bal...

Pope Francis turns 84 today

Pope Francis turns 84 today.  Born in Buenos Aires on 17 December 1936, the son of Italian emigrants, Jorge Mario Bergoglio celebrates his birthday at the Vatican by going about his ordinary life. ...

Italy: 'Bad omen' as blood of Naples saint fails to liquefy

The blood of Naples' patron saint has failed to liquefy, causing unease among some superstitious Neapolitans who see it as a bad omen.The blood of S. Gennaro, the patron of Naples, failed to liquefy o...

Vatican 'Darth Vader' Nativity scene lampooned

Nativity scene in St Peter's Square sparks widespread criticism.The Vatican's unconventional Nativity scene in St Peter's Square has provoked a wave of criticism in the press and has been ridiculed wi...

Covid-19: Pope to hold Christmas 'Midnight Mass' early due to Italy's curfew

Vatican to hold 'Midnight Mass' at 19.30 on Christmas Eve. Pope Francis will celebrate the traditional Christmas Eve Mass two hours earlier than normal to keep in line with Italy's covid-19 curfew, a...

Vatican lights up Christmas tree in St Peter's Square

Christmas magic comes to Piazza S. Pietro. The Vatican will light up its 2020 Christmas tree and inaugurate its Nativity scene in St Peter's Square at 16.30 on Friday 11 December, reports Vatican New...

Rome: Pope Francis makes surprise dawn visit to Immaculate Conception statue in heavy rain

Vatican had announced that pontiff would not be making traditional pilgrimage to avoid covid-19 contagion among crowds. Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the statue of the Immaculate Conception n...

Italy: Saint's statue flown over town after processsion ban

Annual religious procession was cancelled due to covid-19. When covid-19 caused the cancellation of an annual procession to venerate Saint Barbara, the patron of the central Italian town of Rieti, di...

Vatican to host Christmas crib exhibition in St Peter's Square

100 Presepi moves to colonnade of Piazza S. Pietro. The 2020 edition of 100 Presepi, Rome's international Nativity crib exhibition, will be held under the colonnade of St Peter's Square, from 13 Dece...

Covid-19: Pope cancels pilgrimage to Rome's Spanish Steps

Pontiff will not make annual pilgrimage on 8 December this year, breaking a tradition dating back to 1953. Pope Francis has cancelled his annual pilgrimage into the centre of Rome for the feast of th...

Vatican to keep festive spirit alive with Christmas tree in St Peter's Square

Covid-19 won't stop the Vatican from bringing Christmas cheer to Piazza S. Pietro. The Vatican is scheduled to illuminate its 2020 Christmas tree and Nativity scene in St Peter's Square at 16.30 on F...

All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in Rome

All Saints’ Day, or Ognissanti, on Sunday 1 November is a public holiday in Italy. However this year it falls on a Sunday so it won't make any difference to the closure of schools or public offices....

Vatican: Pope Francis calls for civil union laws for same-sex couples

Pontiff signals support for same-sex civil unions in comments likely to spark controversy. Pope Francis called for legislation for civil union laws for same-sex couples, saying that gay couples deser...
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