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Monday, April 27, 2015

Regina Coeli: contemplation and thanksgiving are not enough – we must follow the Good Shepherd

Vatican City, 26 April 2015 (VIS) – At the end of the celebration of Holy Mass for new vocations, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray this Sunday's Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered in the square. Beforehand the Holy Father spoke about the figure of Jesus, the Good Shepherd in Whom we contemplate God's Providence.

“The Father gave us the greatest and most precious gift He could give. It is the highest and purest love, as it is not motivated by any need, it is not conditioned by any calculation, it is not attracted by any interest to receive in exchange. Before this love of God, we experience immense joy and open ourselves up to the the acknowledgement of what we have freely received. But contemplating and giving thanks are not enough. We must also follow the Good Shepherd. In particular, those who have the mission of guides in the Church – priests, bishops, popes – are called upon to assume not the mentality of a manager but rather that of a servant, in imitation of Jesus Who, despoiling Himself, saved us with His mercy. The new priests of the diocese of Rome, whom I have had the joy of ordaining this morning in St. Peter's Basilica, are also called to this style of pastoral life”.

The Pope invited two of the newly ordained priests to appear at the window to greet the people and to thank the faithful for their ordination, and he asked that Our Lady might obtain for him, for the bishops and the priests of all the world the grace of serving the holy people of God through the joyful preaching of the Gospel, heartfelt celebration of the Sacraments and patient and gentle pastoral guidance”.

Following the Marian prayer, the Pope assured his closeness to those affected by the powerful earthquake in Nepal and neighbouring countries. “I pray for the victims, for the injured, and for all those who suffer as a result of this disaster”, he said. “May they have the support of fraternal solidarity. And let us pray to Our Lady to be close to them”.

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