National / International News:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' decision to convoke a special Holy Year of Mercy has its roots in the event that led a teenage Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the priesthood. Pope Francis has recounted the story several times in the past two years. On one occasion early in his pontificate, he told members of Catholic lay movements about his faith journey, particularly the importance of growing up Catholic and the influence of his grandmother.
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Several pilgrim groups gathered in a sunny courtyard in Jerusalem's Old City. They were preparing to follow a tradition reaching back at least to the fifth century: walking along the Via Dolorosa, through the cobbled streets of Jerusalem's Old City.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Francis went out onto the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica for the first time, he said he did not prepare what he was going to say, but "I felt deeply that a minister needs the blessing of God, but also of his people."