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Monday, January 19, 2004


VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2004 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received superiors and students of the "Almo Capranica" College where candidates for the priesthood from the diocese of Rome, as well as from other dioceses in Italy and around world, receive formation. Today is the feast of their patron, St. Agnes.

"Your college," said the Pope, "is characterized by special attention to 'family life' ... based on solid human, theological and spiritual points of reference. I know how much you foster this spirit of fraternal communion, so that it prepares you for the future pastoral ministry assigned to you."

"As you well know," John Paul II told the students, "this spirit must be nourished above all by intense and incessant prayer, since God is the source of our unity. In addition, it is necessary that you share the same objectives and ideals, being unified in mind and heart. The cement of unity should never be lacking, that is charity, true 'vis unitiva', in addition to other virtues, especially obedience and humility, while striving always for evangelic perfection."

"The Lord Who has chosen you as his ministers," concluded the Pope, "wants you to be saints, totally consecrated to Him and to His Church. May this be your main duty, to which the daily commitment of receiving solid human and doctrinal formation should be added."

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