Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of stories looking at the faith of the leading 2012 presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. We also profiled the faith journey of Herman Cain before he suspended his campaign.
By Dan Gilgoff and Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editors
(CNN) – It was election night in November 2006, and Rick Santorum had organized a private Catholic Mass in a room at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh. The senator from Pennsylvania had just lost his re-election bid.
The Mass, held just before his concession speech, included a priest and Santorum’s close family and staff. Though the occasion was somber, the soon-to-be-ex-senator aimed for a celebratory mood, said Mark Rodgers, then a top Santorum aide.
“Life is if full of what can be perceived as disappointments or hardships,” Rodgers said, “but Scripture tells followers of Jesus that we approach those situations with joy because there’s ultimate redemption.”
Santorum’s younger brother, Dan, remembers that many attendees - including the senator’s children - were weeping over Santorum’s landslide defeat at the hands of Democrat Bob Casey Jr.
But not the senator.
“You’d think he would have been crushed,” says Dan Santorum. “But he wasn’t even bitter. He didn’t complain. He just said it was God’s plan.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - A northeastern Nigerian state was under a 24-hour curfew Saturday following three days of violence that left more than 30 Christians dead.
The curfew was placed in effect as fears rose that Christian youths could launch reprisal attacks, said Tomborokai Gajere, chaplain to the Adamawa state government.
On Friday, 11 men and one woman were killed in the city of Yola.
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed or been blamed for a recent spate of sectarian attacks.
On Thursday, it was reported that 17 people, all Christians, were killed while mourning the deaths of two others who were killed the day before. These attacks happened in the city of Mubi. Daniels said the official number of deaths was just 12, with four injuries.
Gajere said he personally pleaded with Christian youths in Numan, which is near Mubi, for calm amid reports that reprisal attacks were possible.
By Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) – Bypassing two GOP presidential candidates known for their Catholic faith, five former U.S. Ambassadors to the Holy See threw their support behind frontrunner Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon.
In a letter blasted out by Romney's campaign on Saturday, the ambassadors lauded the former Massachusetts governor for understanding "the importance of strong families as pillars of a vibrant economy and a flourishing polity."
The endorsement comes as a knock against Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, two candidates who don't shy away from talking about their Catholic faith on the campaign trail.
By Peter Hamby, CNN
Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - Despite lingering suspicions about his Mormon religion among some evangelicals here, Mitt Romney is embracing his faith in a new mail piece that began hitting South Carolina households on Saturday.
The glossy fold-out brochure, provided to CNN from a voter who received it, seeks to turn Romney's deeply-held religious convictions and his 42-year marriage into assets in a state where roughly six in ten Republicans call themselves "born again" or evangelical Christians.
"Meet Mitt ... Faith. Family. Country," the front of the mailer reads.
The flip side features a quote from the former Massachusetts governor: "If I'm President of the United States, I will be true to my family, my faith, and our country, and I will never apologize for the United States of America."
By Thom Patterson, CNN
(CNN) - Has God taken an interest in the computer dating business? Does he (or she) have a username and password?
You might think so, if you’ve seen TV ads for the subscription-based dating website christianmingle.com.
The announcer says confidently: “Find God’s match for you.”
Really? Is God going to hook you up online? Cue the blogospheric debate.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.