AuthorEdna Hall

How Catholics Can Prevent Lower Back Pain

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It is on record that 80% of Americans have back pain. It is also on record that it’s one of the most tendered excuses for absence at work. It is also the leading cause of disability worldwide.

As a Catholic, the back pain that you feel sometimes when you stand to your feet or kneel during mass might just be a little problem. Back pain is not a disease on its own rather it is a symptom arising from a disorder in the muscles, nerves, and bones of the back.

The pain could be sharp and instantaneous or dull persisting pain. The pain can be classified based on the duration of the pain as acute, sub-chronic (Acute sciatica), chronic back pain.

Acute pain is one that lasts for six weeks at most. Sub-chronic back pain lasts between 6 weeks and 12 weeks. While chronic pain lasts for more than 12 weeks. Swelling in the muscles, joints, and discs in the back are causes of back pain.

However, with repetitive lifting, bad posture, turning to twist and maybe kneeling at mass, the pain can become worse. As a Catholic, there are few things that you can do to prevent back pain. First, you should know that back pain is something that can be prevented.

One way to prevent this problem is to identify its root cause. The pain as felt by many people could have a similar description but the root cause could be different.

After you might have found out what the cause of the pain bothering you is, here are a few things that you can do to prevent back pain.

11 Major Ways To Prevent Back Pain

1. Be Careful With Your Exercise:

You might want to cut down a little on your exercise routine. Only take part in activities that do not cause strain on your back. You might also want to do away with the heavy lifting for a while as well. If you must lift something, make sure that your legs do the work. Do not turn or twist while doing it.

2. Correct Posture:

Asides cutting down on your exercise, you should also correct your posture as that might be the issue. Make sure you always stand straight.

While standing, try not to slouch. Make sure your pelvis is in a neutral position. If you must stand for long, rest your feet on a low footstool for a while. Alternate the feet at intervals to get some stress off your back.

3. Sit Down The Right Way:

When sitting down, sit with armrest, swivel base and with lower back support. Place a pillow around your back as well so your back can maintain its natural curve. Also, ensure that you keep your knees at hip level and make sure to change position frequently.

4. Kneel Properly:

When kneeling during mass, make sure that your back is upright as well. Also, you might want to change your bed to one that offers you enough comfort at night. Make sure you get enough amount of sleep.

5. Keep Healthy Weight:

One reason why you may be finding it hard to correct your posture might be your weight. Eating healthy and cutting off some weight might also help you in ensuring the right posture. Maintaining a healthy weight will also help you reduce the stress on your back.

6. Healthy Lifestyle:

Consequently, ensure that you wear the right type of shoes. To alleviate your pain, everything that you do should be directed towards comfort. As such, your shoes should be selected such that they do not add stress to your back.

Shoes that have an impact on your spine or that have an impact on your posture should be avoided until you get better.  You should avoid smoking as it might prevent relieve and cause more pain.

7. Take Drugs:

You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation just in case you feel a lot of pain. You can take muscle relaxants to reduce the muscle spasm that might cause continuous pain. You might also take steroid spine injections to reduce sciatica pain.

8. Use Ice and Heat:

Furthermore, you can make use of Ice and heat to your advantage. You might want to place an ice pack on the spot for 20 minutes, 4 to 5 times daily. A hot bath might also help within three days of noticing the pain in your back, so it doesn’t get out of hand.

9. Work on Stress:

Stress could also have some adverse impacts on how much pain you feel. So, in a bid to prevent back pain, you might want to manage stress better. Make sure that you handle work and family so well that it gives you little or no stress at all.

10. Physical Therapy:

If the pain lasts more than two weeks, you might want to go through physical therapy. Usually, most patients get better in about a month or two. The therapy sessions could be twice or thrice in a week depending on how you want it and how severe your case is to your physiotherapist.

11. Prayers:

Moreover, as a Catholic experiencing pain in the back, you should also pray. Observing all these said with prayers will get you to relieve.  The Catholic Saint of pain is Saint Gemma Galgani, referring to her short pain-filled life here on earth.

You can ask that she obtains mercy with her merits and grants you favor in the sights of God. Referring to her passion, ask that she prays for you. Ask that God grants you the grace to see you through the pain.

Conclusion

You should have in mind that the pain in your back is not a disease. It is rather a sign that you have been doing something wrong for your body. To get over this condition, all you need to do is keep an open mind.

Find out what is wrong and correct it appropriately in line with what you have read. Also, say your prayers regularly and you will be relieved.

Top Christian Affiliate Programs For Bloggers

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Affiliate programs are consistently becoming a lucrative means of earning money for bloggers. About 87% of bloggers in the US and not less than 82% in the UK earn cash through Christian affiliate programs.

Currently, there are hundreds of online Christian sites that run an affiliate program. Below are the top 10 Christian Affiliate programs that will fetch you reasonable earning and due recognition on your blog.

Top 10 Affiliate Programs For Bloggers

1) Ignatius Press

Ignatius Press has been a leading bookseller of Catholic tenets. They specialize in selling Orthodox Catholic items at a low cost, including books, magazines, art, and music.

The Ignatius Press Affiliate Program enables you to make money just by having their banners and links to your web site. Immediately you link to Ignatius Press, you gain the benefits of Ignatius’ name recognition to upgrade your site and multiply your earnings.

Through Commission Junction, you are provided with unlimited access to your sales results. You will also be entitled to receive a monthly commission check each time you earn more than $25.00.

Affiliates will be able to take advantage of feature items, promotions, sales and more to share with their viewers. There is a 10% commission on every purchase made through your site and their superior customer service provides affiliates with the basic information needed for success.

2) Worship Guitar Class

This is an online guitar class, owned by Jean Welles. Videos are made to teach how to play the guitar and other musical instruments and to do it to worship God. You can earn multiple incomes with little or no cost or obligation on your part as a blogger.

For just affiliating to worshipguitarclass.com, you are sure to get paid referral fees on every CD, music tapes, video and E-book sold. You are rewarded with a 20% commission on all videos and E-book made by Jean Welles and 10% on other products sold.

You also earn as much as 5% on all sub referral orders; even if the site was visited by someone with no purchase but still revisit and purchase within 2 years. Also, to been easy to set up, you are given access to track your earnings in real-time.

3) Kerusso

Kerusso is a leading Christian apparel company, designing original faith-based Christian T-shirts, jewelry, gifts, and more. Our products have been inspiring millions of believers around the globe for the past 30years.

Their mission is to share the Good News through the production T-shirts, jewelry, and gifts that reference Jesus. As an affiliate of Kerusso, you can earn a 20% commission on all sales, providing excellent customer service to consumers.

Kerusso is partners with avantlink, who helps to manage their affiliate program. Affiliates are given full access to tracking tools and marketing materials. They offer a 45-day cookie length and ensure that their product data feed is updated daily.

4) Bible Belles

Bible Belles is a multimedia publishing company dedicated to changing girls’ lives through the female heroes of the Bible such as Esther, Deborah, Abigail, Ruth, and Hannah.

With their best selling children’s book, parents can easily train their daughters to embrace their true worth by leading them to understand their purpose in life, seek the true definition of beauty, and understand the love of God.

Using ShareASale to run their affiliate program, you can earn up to 15% commission on all sales. Affiliates have access to a wide range of marketing materials and tracking tools, which includes videos, paid post,  social media ads and many more.

With different kid books and series to select from, affiliates will be able to easily make multiple earnings from sales commission and referrals.

5) Dayspring

Established in 1971, DaySpring has become the largest and biggest publisher and distributor of Christian greeting cards and is also a leading force in the provision of Christian home décor, gifts, jewelry and more.

They are specialists in the Christian faith-based and family-friendly markets with a large brand presence in Christian and numerous retail stores in the United States.

Dayspring provides a very high competitive baseline commission of at least 13%, with constant bonuses on sales and reward for top-performing affiliates.

Affiliates can also choose the right content from the available banners and creative text links for their customers and optimize earnings per click. They also have promo codes only available for affiliates along with a monthly report with a sneak-peek into incoming offers.

6) American Bible Society

Founded in 1816 with the vision of making Bibles available for all persons in diverse languages and formats. American Bible Society has focused on publication, distribution, and translation of Bibles for the reach of as many people as possible.

You can find Bibles translated to English, Spanish and over 80 languages on their site, including Bibles for different ages and purposes. To become their affiliate, you have to join ShareASale and apply for American Bible society affiliate.

You can have as much as a 10% commission on sales and referrals. Affiliates have the privilege of earning generously through the different marketing materials available on the ABS site.

Their committed affiliates management crew helps to give the necessary information needed to be an achiever. They also provide free shipping in the US on products worth over $150.

7) Faithbox

Faithbox provides a monthly subscription service, which delivers a box of daily devotional books, topic-based scriptures, daily bible study materials, and many others.

Inside each box is  3 meals to underprivileged kids through their non-profit partners. Joining their affiliate program will enable you to have huge impacts on lives who seem to be giving up on their faith.

Their affiliate program is managed by  ShareASale and you get a $10 flat-rate commission for each Faithbox subscriber that joins after clicking through their link on your site with bonuses on sales.

8) Covenant Eyes

About 20years ago, Covenant Eyes was founded by its CEO, Ron DeHass. He aims to provide a platform that equips people with tools needed for protection and to encourage accountability and trust in the fight against Internet temptation.

They provide educational and empowering materials to people who had cases of internet misconduct. Aside from earning extra income, affiliates become teachers and promoters of internet integrity.

You are provided with different resources that will help you to teach your audience about the advantages of accountability and the dangers of pornography.

They give you an ID that you can include with their banners and textual links, this helps them to track people that sign up through your site. You also receive a 20% commission on every new signup.

9) Christian Book

This is a leading retailer of Christian books, videos, audios, e-book, and other materials. The aim is to communicate the truth of the Bible and to help people apply this truth in everyday living.

Their brand name is recognizable anywhere in the US, and with over 500,000 products, affiliates will have multiple earning through highly competitive fees, commission, and bonuses.

They have dedicated staff members who will provide help on any issue and help you to be successful. Once you join the Christian book affiliate, you will be provided with visible and easy to upload graphics and links.

Their product selection is also designed to help visitors buy their products of choice and also regularly sends you reports that help makes profitable marketing efforts.

10) Jerusalem Gift Shop

Owned and operated by Christian and Jewish believers in Yeshua, the shop is the biggest and most referred online Christian sellers of gifts directly from Jerusalem.

Their vision is to bring believers close to Israel as well as strengthening and supporting the believer’s community residing in the land. The Jerusalem Gift Shop provides its affiliates with a variety of banners and text links that you can position anywhere on your site.

When subscribers join The Jerusalem Gift Shop affiliate and they click on any of the links, they will be redirected to their website where the activities of the user will be tracked. There is a 15% pay per sale for a customer’s first order with 10% on such subsequent purchase.

They also give special access to the admin page where all your sales, purchases, commissions and activities can be easily tracked by yourself. Withdrawing your money is also easy as that can be done using PayPal services.

Other Ways To Monetize Your Blog

Making money through your blog is about serving your audience with valuable and relevant products.

These are four of the best ways your blog can be monetized aside what affiliate marketers do;

  • Promote and sell products and services that interest your site visitors through sponsored posts.
  • Run ads that bring more audiences to your sites.
  • Promote and sell products and services through affiliate marketing, this will ensure that your audience gets satisfied by visiting your site.
  • Creating and selling your products will also fetch you extra cash.

Why Did The Pope Visit The Philippines?

Pope Francis visited the Philippines in 2015 on a papal visit termed “A nation of Mercy and Compassion”. The visit recorded the highest turn out exceeding the crowd at the World Youth Day which was the highest gathering for a papal visit at the time.

Though a lot can be said about the visit, very little is said about the reason behind the visit.

Why did the Pope visit the Philippines? The Pope’s Apostolic visit was in order to console the victims of ‘Yolanda’ super typhoon which was the strongest typhoon making landfall in history. Pope Francis had also wanted to visit the Philippines as his predecessor was unable to do so.

The people of Philippines definitely appreciated this visit as they came en masse to welcome the Pope. The three days of his visit were declared public holidays and the Philippines definitely took advantage of it.

The purpose and impact of his visit were felt all through the country.

What Was The Purpose Of The Pope’s Visit?

The Pope’s visit to the Philippines was not without an agenda or purpose and every day of the visit was tailored to fulfilling that purpose.

In the spirit of mercy and compassion, the Pope’s visit touched the hearts of many especially the victims of ‘Yolanda’, the typhoon Haiyan that the Pope despite all odds went to see.

On January 15, the Pope arrived at the Philippines’ air base at 5:32 pm. He was welcomed by various government officials including the President and highly regarded religious officials.

The next day, Pope Francis drove to the Malacanang Palace. President Benigno Aquino III met with the Pope and there was a meeting held with other diplomats and officials at Rizal Memorial Hall.

At the gathering, the President gave a speech addressing the roles of the church in the country. Pope Francis spoke after the President’s speech urging politicians to shun corruption and pay attention to the needs of the poor.

After the meeting, there was a closed off mass held at Manila Cathedral consisting of just Bishops, Nuns, Priests, Seminarians, and 500 lay persons. Before the mass, the Pope and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle had met with some street children fed by the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation.

On Saturday, the Pope traveled to Tacloban by 7:37 am. Using the Philippines airlines, he arrived at Tacloban around 8:50 am to be welcomed by the Palo Archbishop John F. Du. At the airport, the Pope conducted a mass in the Celebration of the Eucharist.

He had lunch with the survivors of the typhoon Haiyan. He also blessed the Pope Francis Center for the Poor that was completed in December 2014. The Pope held a brief meeting with the religious leaders. His visitation was cut short due to the brewing Tropical Storm Mekkhala.

The Pope met with representatives of other religions on Sunday after which he also met with about 24,000 youth representatives at Santo Tomas Field. The concluding mass for the Pope’s visit was held at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park.

This mass was open to the general public and it witnessed a massive turn out of over six million people, making it the largest mass during a papal visit.

The people sang the World Youth Day Anthem ‘Tell the World of His Love’ and the theme song for the Pope’s visit ‘We Are All God’s Children’.

On Monday, the Pope was ready to take off after a send-forth ceremony with the President, cabinet officials and other government officials.

Prominent religious leaders were also in attendance. The Pope’s visit definitely touched the Philippines in a true spirit of mercy and compassion.

Did The Pope’s Visit Achieve Its Purpose?

Yes, the Pope’s visit definitely achieved its purpose. Despite the hurdles and challenges, Pope Francis ensured that the truth of the theme was conveyed to the Philippines especially the survivors of the typhoon.

Pope Francis visit touched the hearts of many and the comments of the Philippines showed that the visit was highly appreciated.

The papal visit was able to reach various aspects of the country and the Pope was able to meet with not just religious leaders but also political leaders.

Does The Pope Visit Countries Often?

While travel is not common to the papacy, Pope Francis, like a few of his predecessors, often visit other countries that request his presence.

The Pope that visited other countries the most is Pope John Paul II. He traveled far more than all of his predecessors, traveling approximately 31 times around the earth.

Pope Francis has gone on various visits ranging from international trips to unscheduled visits. Since 2013, the Pope has embarked on approximately 45 international trips.

Everywhere he goes, he holds a mass and blesses the people of the land. These visits help strengthen the faith of the Catholics in the land.

 

 

News About Pope Francis Visit To The Philippines

Pope Francis visit to the Philippines is not an event forgotten in a hurry. The visit, etched on the lines of history forever, provides a lot to report and talk about. There is a lot of news about the happenings during Pope Francis visit to the Philippines.

News About Pope Francis Visit To The Philippines? Pope Francis visit to the Philippines recorded the largest final mass gathering. The Pope, also despite all odds and a tropical storm, went to see the survivors of the Typhoon Haitian.

The three days of the Pope Francis visit was packed full of activities. Let’s discuss what was said about this visit and news that made the rounds during and after the Pope’s visit.

What Did Pope Francis Do During His Visit?

Here are some of the highlights of the important things that the Pope did during his visit to the Philippines.

  • Pope Francis on the second day of his arrival went to see the President at the Malacanang Palace. There were other diplomats and official present at the Rizal Memorial Hall used for the gathering. The President made a speech that would be later termed controversial. Pope Francis, in his speech, called for integrity and honesty in political leaders. He advised that leaders should shun corruption. He also declared that his visit is to show the closeness of the Typhoon Yolanda survivors to his heart.
  • After seeing the President, Pope Francis held a closeted mass with Catholic leaders ranging from bishops, nuns, priests, seminarians, and a few laypersons. He highlighted issues of inequality and injustice and said leaders should lead society away from confusion on sexuality, marriage, and family. Taking the side doors after mass, he was able to meet with some street children. The Pope also held a meeting of families with representatives from various dioceses.
  • The Pope’s visit to Leyte despite the tropical storm notice was one of the noteworthy things about his visit to the Philippines. He had lunch with the survivors of the Haiyan Typhoon. There was also a mass held at the Tacloban airport. The Pope also commissioned a clinic completed in December 2014. Though the visit was short due to the storm, the survivors and Leyte felt appreciated by the Pope’s gesture.
  • The final mass was the largest papal gathering since the turn out for World Youth day in 1995 at the same venue. The mass held at Luneta Park. More than the five million people that were recorded to be at Pope John Paul’s World Youth Day Mass, the Mass, by the estimation of the Metro Manila Development Authority, had six million people in attendance.

Though the Pope only had major activities on three days of his visit, he did a lot and clearly, the purpose of his visit was accomplished. The Philippines were excited to have him and the comments from survivors of Typhoon Haiyan showed that his visit had an impact on them.

Controversies That Arose During The Pope’s Visit

Certain issues arose during the preparation for and during the visit of Pope Francis. Most of these issues got resolved and the visit went peacefully.

However, two of the major controversies surrounding the Pope’s visit are the alleged abuse of street children and the President’s speech.

Street children had been rounded up by the government to prevent attacks to the Pope by street gangs run by these children.

Press publications released to the effect that these children get abused in the detention centers.

MailOnline gave an exclusive report on this child abuse in Manila. The report claimed that these children suffered physical and sexual abuse, lacked education, and wasn’t treated with basic dignity.

In response to an inquiry made concerning the situation, Pasay City Social Welfare Department chief, Rosalinda Orobia said that the rounding up action was to protect the Pope and prevent street gangs from taking advantage of him.

This only riled criticism at the authorities as questions were asked as to if the Pope’s arrival was the only important issue.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Dinky Soliman, officially reported on the issue on January 16, claiming that the street children were not abused and photos published on MailOnline were old pictures.

She cited the case of a child named Federico in the pictures, claiming that the child was under care. She also said corrective measures have been taken against the abusive practices of the past.

It would have been great if there was an opportunity for the Pope to visit these detention camps so there would have been a completely satisfying answer to this issue.

The President’s Speech was one of the other controversies that arose during the Pope’s visit. President Benigno Aquino III had, in his speech, criticized the Church for not acting during past administration abuses.

This criticism got mixed reactions as some thought it honest while others claimed it was inappropriate.

Cardinal Luis Tagle described it as a “commentary of previous administration”. He also said: “I think [Aquino] was coming from a deeply personal experience and also a deeply political experience.

The personal experience that shaped that type of interpretation of facts was his own suffering during martial law and his appreciation for the role of the Church during that time.” But, Tagle implored the public to focus on the papal visit and revisit the President’s speech after.

The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi said the speech was original as speeches like that were not usually given at the Pope’s reception.

He also described the speech as “very interesting” and showing two different perspectives; one of “the politician and the Pope”.

These issues didn’t affect the reception of the Pope or the smooth running of activities related to his visit.

The Philippines gave the Pope a warm reception and visit was one that will remain etched in history.

 

What Does The Pope Think About Psychics?

 

A psychic is a person that has paranormal abilities or can see into the supernatural. People are known to contact these psychics to read into their future or help them know what to do.

This practice is quite common in Rome, which is the home of the Pope. The Pope has, however, made his opinion of this practice common even among Christians clear.

What Does The Pope Think About Psychics? The Pope does not support going to see psychics. The Pope described it as idol worship He said that a Christian does not need a Psychic or horoscope, only guidance from God.

The Pope also had much to say about the related practices of fortune telling, horoscope reading, tarot cards, and the likes.

What Advice Did The Pope Give Concerning Psychics?

The Pope advised Christians not to turn towards psychics or horoscopes but look unto God. At the morning mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae on June 26, 2018, Pope Francis said,

‘The Christian life is a path along which men and women are called to be led by God rather than turning to psychics and horoscopes in the hopes of knowing what lies ahead.’

He went on to explain how Christians especially Catholics should pray and live their lives without dependence on mediums or supernatural influences like horoscopes and crystal balls.

“A Christian does not have a horoscope to see the future. He doesn’t go to a fortune teller with a crystal ball or have his palm read. No, no! He doesn’t know where he is going. He is guided.”

The Pope’s advice for Christians was to follow the lifestyle of guidance by God. He implored that Christians should trust in the Lord and look toward him for all their answers.

Pope Francis advised Christians to live the lifestyle of people journeying towards the Promised Land.

Witchery has been condemned by the Catholic Church from time past. The practice of fortune-telling, going to psychics or witches is still not acceptable in the Catholic Church of today.

Pope Francis declared that such acts are acts of idol worship. He urged people to turn towards the one true God as these idols will just disappoint them.

He told the masses of the benefits of this one true God. He said the true God does not ask for your life but rather give you his own.

“The true God does not offer a projection of our success, but teaches us to love,” Pope Francis said that recognizing these idols and freeing oneself from them is the beginning of grace that puts one on a path of love.

The Church’s Opinion On Fortune-Telling, Psychics, and Witches

The Catholic Church has always had a firm stand against fortune telling, psychic counselors, and witches. The first commandment of, “I am the Lord thy God.  Thou shalt not have any gods before me,” is not taken with levity in the Church.

While it is believed that God can make his will known through his prophets and saints, people are advised to rely on God to tell them their future and how to live.

St. Paul said that “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His decree” (Romans 8:28).

Relying on this promise, one does not need the aid of fortunetellers, psychics, or witches to live a fulfilled life.

All these sorts of practices are condemned in the Old and New Testaments. You would find verses like:

“You shall not let a sorceress live” (Exodus 22:17),

“Whoever sacrifices to any god, except to the Lord alone, shall be doomed” (Exodus 22:19),

“A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning:  they have no one but themselves to blame for their death” (Leviticus 20:27), and

“Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortuneteller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead.  Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord…”

All these verses from the Old Testament condemn the fortune telling, witchery, and psychics and the Catholic Church still stands by them.

From the New Testament of the Bible,

“But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:” (Acts 8:9)

“But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.” (Acts 13:8)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,” (Galatians 5:19).

St. Paul in the last two chapters, rebuked Elymas for practicing sorcery and called it an act of the flesh in Galatians. St. Peter, in Acts 8, rebuked Simon who wanted to buy the power of the Holy Ghost to make his sorcery more powerful.

In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ declared, “As for the cowards and traitors to the faith, the depraved and murderers, the fornicators and sorcerers, the idol-worshipers and deceivers of every sort– their lot is the fiery pool of burning sulfur– the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Though the Church condemns the act of witchcraft, psychics, fortune telling and other associated practices, the Church believes in the gospel of love.

Conclusion

Therefore, practices like witch hunting and burning are not condoned by the church. Throughout history, Catholic Popes have stood against using torture or burning a person regarded as a witch.

Pope Nicholas I, in 866, prohibited torture for obtaining confessions, though it was allowed in civil law and judicial practices.  Pope Gregory VII in 1080, stood against putting accused witches to death for supposedly causing storms or crop failures.

The church teaches love and abstinence from all kinds of idol worship.

 

 

7 Interesting Facts About The Pope You Didn’t Know

The pope acts as a symbol for holiness and goodness for the Catholic believers all around the world. He is the leader of the Catholic church and is among the best known public and influential figures worldwide.

The institution has been around for centuries with the pope actually being the head of state in the Vatican City. Pope Francis is the current 266th pope, and it’s sufficed to say that he is beloved by the people, both believers and non-believers from all across the world.

Most people have a picture of the pope as the guy goggling with kids, shaking hands and blessing masses as he goes. There’s more to him than that. Here are seven interesting facts about the pope you probably didn’t know:

pope facts

#1. First Latin American Pope

His real name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He’s the first Jesuit pope to lead the Catholic church, the first pope originating from the Americas and the first non-European native pope since Gregory III in 741 more than 1,000 years ago. It’s important to note that Jesuits are excellent communicators. Out of the 265 popes that have come before him, 200 were natives of Italy alone so you can see how rare and hard it is for a pope whose homeland is outside Europe to get the post.

#2. Was The Runners Up To Become Pope In 2005

He came in second in the election that elected Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) as pope in 2005 after the passing on of Pope John Paul II. This shows how popular he was at the time among his fellow Arch Bishops by receiving the second most votes.

#3. Lives In A Simple Guest House

Rather than take advantage of the perks that come with being the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis rejected staying in the upscale apartment quarters within the Vatican walls used by previous the popes. He instead decided to reside in a simple two-room apartment. He broke a century-long tradition.

#4. Named “Person of the Year”

During the time of his inauguration in 2013, he was named as the Person of the year by Time making him the first ever pope to receive such an accolade. He was honored with this title due to the impact and influence he had already made as a leader. The reason he is called ‘the people’s pope’ is because of how he loves children and allows them to get close, blessing them during ceremonies, visiting the sick and advocating for people’s rights are but a few of the things he does.

#5. He isn’t A Fan Of The Bulletproof Popemobile

The pope doesn’t like the traditional bulletproof Popemobiles because he sees them as “sardine cans” with glass enclosures which people are gawking at as he rolls by. Even though not everyone may mean to cause harm to the pope, he said he still preferred to be closer to the people on the ground. During his papacy, Pope Francis has been cruising around in cars like Jeep Wranglers and Fiats which allows human contact and personal appeal.

#6. Has One Lung

In his teenage years, Pope Francis was diagnosed with a severe infection that resulted in him undergoing surgery to remove the infected lung. Sadly, this operation wouldn’t be needed today with the current advancements in antibiotics. Medical professionals were concerned about his health at the time of the conclave but at the ripe age of 82 years, he is in good physical health.

#7. Multilingual

Pope Francis is conversant and doesn’t struggle much with many languages. Though the pope often uses Italian, Latin or Spanish to carry his roles, he is also fluent in German, Portuguese, Ukrainian, English and French. This grasp of different languages allows him to reach a wide range of his congregation globally who look up to him as a source of inspiration and moral guidance.

Pope Francis has tried to repair the tarnished history of the Catholic Church taking it upon himself to lead by example through humanitarian efforts which have made him capture the hearts of many. His humility alone is a basis for great admiration, especially by the people in Niagara Falls. By reading just a few of these facts, you can see why he is admired and respected by many.

How Much Does the Pope Make?

Although being Pope is a big responsibility and requires of much time, devotion, and work. The work of the Pope is the work of God. There is no salary assigned to the pope, the monthly expenses of the pope are all covered by the Curia funds. The compensation for being a Pope for a year is of 1 gold coin, 1 silver coin and 1 copper coin. These are not received by the Pope on life but are awarded after his death and all the coins earned during his papacy are placed inside the Popes coffin.

Salaries within the Catholic Church

Although the Pope does not receive a salary, other positions of the Catholic Church do. Being a priest is one of the most significant jobs in the Catholic Churches all around the world, and these men are compensated with a net income of about 25,000 dollars a year, and this is the base salary for a newly ordained priest as after a certain amount of years and experience the salary of a priest can become up to 44,417 dollars a year. It has been sated that a few priests in specific countries can make up to 75,355 dollars a year.

Salaries for Cardinals within the Catholic Church

The Cardinals of the Catholic Church have been known to make a good sum of money a year, it is said that the lowest salary for a Cardinal is of 34,618 dollars a year, while the average income of Cardinals around different regions is of about 71,214 dollars a year. The highest sum received by a Cardinal has been stated to be of 146,497 dollars a year.   Cardinals are entitled to a compensation of a Cardinals plate which is set to be worth 5,000 euros on average and is meant to cover all of the Cardinals expenses.

The Vatican Bank

Though Popes have no set income, the Vatican does have a bank, the full movement of money in the Vatican is said to be of about 64 billion dollars. Though there are no specifics as to who is accounted for this wealth, the bank does own 764 million dollars in equity. Considering the only citizens of the Vatican are members of the church, technically this wealth is attributed to the Catholic Church. The Vatican Bank has said to have closed nearly 4,000 bank accounts after accusations of money laundering over the past few years. Furthermore, the Vatican Banks has been speculated to keep reserves of up to 20 million dollars’ worth in gold.

The Assets Belonging to the Catholic Church

If we consider the Catholic Church as a company, that would make the Pope the CEO of the Catholic Church company. The Church is said to have 8 billion dollars in assets, meaning that the pope would have 8 billion dollars at his disposal. But since the Catholic Church is not a company, the Pope does not handle the sum of money that the Catholic Church is worth, they have staff in place to look after the numerous assets of the church including their banks, real estate holdings and other assets. Here is a closer look at the wealth of the Catholic Church.

The Papal Salary

Although the Pope does not receive a salary, he is said to receive millions of dollars a year for his personal use, much like the Royal Families throughout Europe and around the world. This is not directly awarded by the Catholic Church or the Vatican City. Rather from contributions and donations.

Saint Peter’s Pence, is known to be a way for the Vatican to charge taxes, in the US, a voluntary payment is made of one penny from every household, considering the large population of Catholics in the US, the sum made by the Vatican just by the US is set to be large.  Bear in mind that there are nearly 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and this sum can add up rather quickly.

Tourism

The Vatican makes an income as well from tourists, as they charge nearly 16 euros per tickets, and the tourism to the Vatican City has been said to have increased since Pope Francis was elected back in 2013, in 2017, the Vatican museum alone was said to have received 4.3 million tourists. Accounting the price per ticket this is a high income for the Vatican City.

The current Pope, Pope Francis has made a vow of poverty, he can therefore own no land other than the Vatican City, which he does not own but is rather a custodian for his papacy term. Nevertheless, he does have a pension fund which is said to go as high as to the amount of 24,000 euros per year.

All the money that is raised by the Catholic Church does not go to the Pope, but to charitable actions, and church activities.

I believe this article has given you a clue on Pope’s financial income.

How Old was the Youngest Man Acknowledged by the Vatican as Pope?

How old was the youngest man acknowledged by the Vatican as pope?  Let’s look at what it takes to be the pope and delve a bit into the history to see who the youngest pope was.

The Head of the Church

The pope is the head of the Catholic Church. The pope serves as both the head of the Catholic Church and the head of the Vatican state, to be a pope there are a few steps to follow, and even fewer requirement. The requirements being, to be male and to be an active member of the Catholic Church.   By following these steps, you won’t necessarily become a pope, but to become a pope you do have to follow these steps.

Becoming the Pope

The first step to follow is to become a Catholic, if you were not born in to Catholic faith, the first step will be to convert to the Catholic Church. You will have to be educated, this process is usually done in a kid’s teenage years, and it is called catechism. Then, you have to get baptized, and the final step to become Catholic is to confess to all your sins.

The second is to become a priest, as this will be your lifestyle, it is important that you consider what becoming a priest entail. You can consult your church’s priest, consider your qualities and those needed to be a priest.

Get involved in the church, take more leadership roles within your church, you can start a new youth program, if there isn’t one already, you can gather people to join a church, meet people from other churches, and go to international conferences.

Education

Education is important to the Vatican, they emphasize that all members of the Vatican shall be well educated, starting with a high school diploma and opt to learn a foreign language. You will have to attend a seminary specially taught for potential priests at specific colleges.   It is important for you to find your spiritual journey, you can attend one of many schools to educate you on the Catholic doctrine, but it will be your decision to learn about it, to enroll in the program and to follow all the steps.

Ascending to the Papacy

Once you’ve become a priest, you have to follow your vocation and be a good priest to your church, be responsible, reliable and a good example.  The next step is to become a bishop, for this, you will have to have made a good impression as a priest and reached out to those and need looking for guidance from the church. It is crucial that a bishop has good communication skills and works well with others.  As a bishop, also referred to as pastor you will be the authority of your region. Bishops are chosen by the pope himself. You will have to keep in contact with the archbishop for your region and attend regular Bishop meetings.

Become a cardinal, to do so, you must have been selected by the pope to serve as cardinal to a region with high numbers of Catholic churches, not all regions are assigned a cardinal.  After having become a cardinal, you can be nominated for the next elections, the pope is elected by votes and are to serve as both pope to the Catholic Church and leader of the Vatican.

Having explained all the steps, it takes to become a Pope, who was the youngest to deserve the seat at the Catholic church?

A young boy, born by the name Theophylactus of Tusculum, became pope at the age of 20 (allegedly as his birthdate has not been confirmed) became the youngest pope in the history of the church. He was the nephew of both John XIX and Benedict VIII, who had both served as pope to the Church.

He has not only been named the youngest Pope, but also the worst, as in his time many tried for him to leave the seat as Pope, due to his poor decisions.  Benedict IX, the youngest pope in history served on three different terms, from 1032-1044, from 1045-1045, having served only one month and from 1047-1048.

Having been expelled from Rome the first and second time he served as Pope, he abdicated after his third term, as it is said he wanted to marry his cousin. He later on regretted the decision and returned to Rome and claimed the Throne, nevertheless it was Gregory VI who served as pope even after his return.

In today’s world it would be nearly impossible to become the Pope at such a young age.  During the election process the Cardinals look for someone who it more mature and can offer not just wisdom that comes with age but guidance for the church as well.

Misa de Gallo in Tacloban and Palo, Leyte

December 30, 2014

Palo, Leyte – Whether it is a fully-reconstructed barangay chapel or one that is currently being built, the people of Leyte flocked to the Misa de Gallo, the nine-day dawn masses in preparation for Christmas. “This year, it has a specific vibrancy and fervor because of the impact of the Pope’s coming. We also received guidelines to include the spiritual preparation of the people about mercy and compassion, the theme of the papal visit in January 2015, in our homilies during the Misa de Gallo,” said Fr. Oscar L. Florencio of the papal visit secretariat in Palo.

“Thanks to Caritas, NASSA, and the CBCP more than 50 barangays chapels have been reconstructed in Palo alone,” Fr. Florencio continued. Because of this, the people are also in high spirits, so happy to have a beautiful chapel where they can gather for the mass, fellowship and the sharing of the Word of God.

So they come in droves to the Christmas novena masses – in gratitude for the past year as they picked up the pieces after Yolanda, and also to present to Jesus and Mary their wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Almost all the barangays chapels have their own choir and they have a ‘misa cantada’ everyday! The responses of the faithful to the prayers of the priests are sung, not only to create a beautiful liturgy, but also for pastoral reasons. Since mass is celebrated at 4:00 AM, singing the responses helps the congregation to remain alert and awake during the celebration.

Another particular feature of the Misa de Gallo this year is the project Lamesa ni Marta as part of the Year of the Poor activities. This means inviting everyone, particularly those still struggling with the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, to enjoy the food and the community after the celebration of the Eucharist. The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) started this practice in some parishes in the past years. This time the whole diocese has committed to live the essence of the papal visit’s theme – mercy and compassion, and the Year of the Poor – do justice and love kindness by feeding the flock through Lamesa ni Marta.In some parishes, this project is carried out in close collaboration with local government units and generous lay people.

In Palo where the chapel of the Archbishop is still under construction, the faithful go to the chapel early and bring with them the images of San Roque, Our Lady, the Sacred Heart, etc. for the Aurora – the dawn rosary procession.  This beautiful devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary was re-introduced by Archbishop John Du in Palo and he would often join the people in procession. They go around the barangays holding the sacred images while saying the Holy Rosary, and the crowd expands as they go back to the chapel. The elderly who grew up with this devotion, families, young people and children, and even adult males join the crowd, each with a fervent wish and a prayer for Christmas.

After mass, more than 300 people partook of the hearty breakfast provided by the good bishop and prepared by volunteers.

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