Vatican City

Pope to visit Colombia as it emerges from half-century of war

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Pope Francis will be visiting Colombia in mid-September as the Latin American nation works to implement a new peace deal and rebuild after 52 years of war.

The Vatican announced March 10 that the pope had accepted the invitation of President Juan Santos and the Colombian bishops.

The trip, Sept. 6-11, will include visits to the cities of Bogota, Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena. Details of the trip were to be published at a later date.

Lent is time to relive exodus from slavery to freedom, pope says

Like the people of Israel freed from the bondage of slavery, Christians are called to experience the path toward hope and new life during the Lenten season, Pope Francis said.

Through his passion, death and resurrection, Jesus "has opened up for us a way that leads to a full, eternal and blessed life," the pope said at his weekly general audience March 1, Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent for Latin-rite Catholics.

"Lent lives within this dynamic: Christ precedes us with his exodus and we cross the desert, thanks to him and behind him," he said.

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March 24-April 6, 2017

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