National / International News:

Pope: Spirit strengthens martyrs, helps people face 'daily martyrdom'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Holy Spirit strengthens modern martyrs, giving them the force to proclaim their faith in Christ even as they are about to die, Pope Francis said. But the Holy Spirit also gives strength to every Christian facing even the tiny trials of everyday life, he said May 11.

Castro says pope is so impressive he might start praying again

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After spending close to an hour with Pope Francis, Cuban President Raul Castro told reporters he is so impressed by what the pope does and says that he might start praying and could even return to the church.

How do I love thee? Gospel teaches how to count the ways, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Real love is constant, concrete and communicates -- it is action over words and it obeys the Beatitudes, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. True love is not "soap-opera love," or "a whim" or something that "makes our heart beat a little faster," and then nothing more, the pope said May 7 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.