By receiving the priests of the community of Saint Louis des Français, one of the French churches in Rome, Pope Francis once again developed, on Monday, June 7, his vision of the priest, encouraging them in particular to be invested in field.
“Do not go into the field to apply theories without taking into account the environment in which you find yourself, as well as the people in your care”, thus exhorted Francis, while the majority of these priests are in Rome to pursue studies, at the request of their bishop in the pontifical universities “I wish you to be shepherds carrying the scent of sheep with them”, he continued, using one of his favorite expressions, used regularly since 2013.
“Get rid of your preconceived ideas, your dreams of greatness, your assertiveness, to put God and people at the center of your daily concerns”, again urged the pope, who appeared “relaxed and very warm,” according to one of the participants.
“If you are priests, be shepherds”
To those who would only like to be “intellectuals” and not “pastors”, the Pope launched, provocatively: “(In that case) ask for a secular reduction, it will be better for you, and be an intellectual. But if you are priests, be shepherds. “
As he began his speech, the Pope had warned them: “The“ supermen ”priests all end badly. “ To this model of the very strong priest, he preferred that of the “Frail priest, who knows his weaknesses and speaks about them with the Lord”.
On the contrary, the Pope insisted again, “The priest is a man who, in the light of the Gospel, spreads around him a taste for God and transmits hope to worried hearts”. Francis also encouraged his interlocutors to fully engage in community prayer, and to cultivate a sense of humor.
But at the end of his speech, François also paid tribute to one of the members of the community of Saint-Louis-des-Français, Father Jean Landousies, responsible for the French-speaking section of the Secretariat of State which is due to retire at the end of June, after several years of service in the Vatican.
” It’s an example “, estimated the Pope, leaving his text. “I found in him the testimony of a happy priest, of a coherent priest. “ “His way of being made me feel good”, he continued. “ He leaves here the good smell of Christ, the good smell of a priest, of a good priest. “
At the end of the audience, the French priests, led by Mgr Laurent Bréguet, the rector of the main French church in Rome, presented the pope with a book on Caravaggio, of which very famous works are exhibited in Saint Louis of the French. , as well as a bottle of bordeaux.