Pope Francis confirmed Thursday he will use his upcoming visit to the Portuguese shrine at Fatima to canonize two Portuguese shepherd children who say they saw visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago. Francis convened his cardinals to formally set the May 13 date for the saint-making Mass.
President Michel Aoun is set to visit the Vatican on March 16, Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported.
Retired Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview that he felt a "duty" to resign from the papacy because of his declining health and the rigorous demands of papal travel. While his heart was set on completing the Year of Faith, the retired pope told Italian journalist Elio Guerriero that after his visit to Mexico and Cuba in March 2012, he felt he was "incapable of fulfilling" the demands of another international trip, especially with World Youth Day 2013 scheduled for Brazil.