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Morning Catholic must-reads: 09/03/15

Francis addresses the faithful before leaving Santa Maria Madre del Redentore parish (AP/Riccardo De Luca)

We must ask Jesus to cleanse our hearts, Francis said as he celebrated Mass at the Roman parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore on Sunday evening (full video).

“A world where women are marginalised is a barren world,” the Pope said as he marked International Women’s Day at the Angelus yesterday (full text, full video).

The Vatican has reportedly received a demand of €100,000 ($108,000, £72,000) for the return of a letter by Michelangelo stolen in 1997.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has held a private meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

John Allen, Damon Linker, Fr Thomas Reese SJ and Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig reflect on Francis’s pontificate as he approaches the two-year mark.

Garry Wills argues that Francis has “a special chance” to prevent a global religious war.

And Juliet Stevenson says Calcutta “locals dropped to the ground” before her when she was playing the part of Mother Teresa in the forthcoming biopic The Letters.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.