Grotto highlights needs of poor, image of Mary as ‘Undoer of Knots’

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — In front of Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul stands a visible representation of Pope Francis’ favorite religious image: “Mary, Undoer of Knots.” The “Knotted Grotto” is a dome-shaped lattice-work frame that stands about 10 feet high with an approximately 20-foot circumference and features tens of thousands of white ribbons…

Attendees of World Meeting of Families help break Guinness world record

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — As confetti rained down and cheers filled the air on the final day of the World Meeting of Families Sept. 25, a family from Argentina applied brushstrokes to a mural depicting Pope Francis — pushing the number of contributors to the paint-by-numbers mural past 2,263 and into the Guinness Book of World…

Pope brings Gospel of ‘encounter’ to Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK (CNS) — Seeing New York for the first time in his 78 years of life, Pope Francis said he knew Madison Square Garden was an important gathering place for sporting events and concerts. For him, it was transformed into a chapel in the heart of the Big Apple. True peace in a big…

People come first, human life is sacred, pope insists at U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — Dealing with war, development, the economy or environmental concerns, bureaucrats and diplomats always must remember that the lives of real children, women and men are at stake, Pope Francis told the United Nations. Helping to celebrate the organization’s 70th anniversary, Pope Francis visited its headquarters Sept. 25 and pleaded with government…

Little Sisters of the Poor get unscheduled visit from Pope Francis

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis made a previously unannounced 15-minute stop Sept. 23 at a Washington residence operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor, where he met with about 45 sisters. Sister Constance Veit, communications director for the Little Sisters, said the pope talked individually with each sister, ranging in age from novices to…

Church leaders affirm commitment to family as world meeting kicks off

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be “the city of family love” and the “world capital of families” during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The largest-ever World Meeting of Families opened in Philadelphia Sept. 22. More…

People attending a predawn Mass say Pope Francis gives them hope

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Parishioners and visitors attending the predawn bilingual Mass at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Church in Washington Sept. 23 were urged to pray that the pope’s words during his U.S. visit would have an impact. Pray that “all will hear his message and that this country will receive what he says:…