11:49 PM EDT 12/03/2013
Originally posted 12/03/2013 11:25AM
If you've ever wondered what Miley Cyrus could possibly have in common with Prince George – aside from a seeming penchant for teddy bears – well … now you have your answer.
Both have made the cut for Barbara Walters's list of the Most Fascinating People of 2013.
Originally posted 11/26/2013 04:40PM
Pope Francis's embrace of a disfigured man made an impact far beyond the Catholic Church, and now, Vinicio Riva, the recipient of that kind act, is opening up about the personal effect it had on him, reports CNN.
"When he embraced me, I quivered. I felt a great warmth," says 53-year-old Riva, who since the age of 15 has suffered from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes painful growths and tumors throughout the body. His mother and sister were similarly affected.
Earlier this month, Riva and his aunt, Caterina Lotto, traveled from Vicenza, in Northern Italy, to Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City to see Pope Francis speak. Francis approached Riva and kissed and hugged him, placing his hand on Riva's head.
Originally posted 11/13/2013 03:00PM
The dust has cleared, the gloves are off, and it's official: Pope Francis won the Internet this year. Global Language Monitor, a Texas-based company that tracks the most frequently mentioned terms on the Web, announced that the pontiff topped their 14th-annual survey of English-language blogs, social media, and 275,000 electronic and online news sites.
Francis beat out NSA leaker Edward Snowden, real-life Disney princess – and also the Duchess of Cambridge – Kate Middleton, and even Miley Cyrus, who practically was the entire Internet for a post-VMA minute.
Originally posted 11/07/2013 11:00AM
It's the photo that has even atheists professing admiration for Pope Francis.
At the end of his General Audience in Vatican City on Wednesday (which had about 50,000 attendees), someone snapped a picture of Francis embracing a man afflicted with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes pain and the formation of thousands of tumors throughout the body.
In the photos, the unnamed man buries his head in Francis's robes as the Pope puts his hand on his head, an instantly iconic image that went viral almost immediately, disseminated across virtually every social media platform.
Originally posted 03/23/2013 09:00AM
On his first day as head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis woke at 5:30 a.m. and, after morning prayers, returned to the Rome hotel where he spent his last hours as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, to settle his bill of 72.50 euros per night ($93.87). He did so, Holy See spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi tells PEOPLE, "to set a good example."
Was it a first? Perhaps. Already this first New World Jesuit pope has set a number of precedents. For many, the election of Francis, 76, inspires optimism amidst shrinking church membership and sexual-abuse scandals.
Originally posted 03/19/2013 08:00PM
Today, he is the newly installed 266th Pontiff, but 70-some years ago, Pope Francis (previously Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) was just a boy with a naughty streak.
Sister Martha Rabino, 71 – head of the Colegio de la Misericordia, a Catholic school in Flores, Buenos Aires, where Pope Francis attended preschool – says she's heard all about his reputation as a boy and gotten to know him as an adult.
"All his life he has remained in touch with us," she tells PEOPLE. "He comes spend the afternoon with us twice a year, when he gets all the nuns together and we have tea, and then we take mass."
Originally posted 03/19/2013 07:30AM
To a congregation that included U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden and guests from 130 other countries and organizations, Pope Francis on Tuesday laid out his vision for a papacy devoted to service – in particular, offering help for humanity's most forgotten souls.
The Pope "must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph," Francis, 76, an Argentine who was elected the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church last week, said at his installation mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, reports The New York Times.
"Like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison."
Originally posted 03/14/2013 10:15AM
Catholics worldwide rejoiced on Wednesday when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was selected as the 266th pope.
In many ways, it was a historic choice by the 115 cardinals who elected him. And the 76-year-old Argentine made history himself by choosing to take the papal name of Francis.
In other ways, Bergoglio's selection was a traditional one, at least when it comes to his theological views and positions on a host of social issues.
Here are five things to know about the Catholic Church's new leader:
Originally posted 03/13/2013 03:30PM
Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.
After announcing "Habemus Papum" – "We have a pope!" – a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name.
"I would like to thank you for your embrace," the new Pope told thousands of onlookers.
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