Benedict to the Poor Clares— “The Pope expects you to be burning torches of love…”

.- On Saturday morning, the Holy Father received in an audience the cloistered Poor Clares from the convent of the Immaculate Conception at Albano, which is located in the same area as the Pope’s summer retreat house in Castelgandolfo.

Addressing the nuns, Benedict XVI expressed his gratitude "for your daily support through prayer, and for your intense spiritual participation in the mission of the Pastor of the Universal Church. In the silence of the cloister and in the total and exclusive giving of self to Christ in accordance with the Franciscan charism, you provide a valuable service to the Church."

"The Pope expects you to be burning torches of love, your hands joined in a vigil of incessant prayer, completely detached from the world in order to sustain the ministry of he whom Jesus has called to guide His Church."

"Not always," said the Pope, "is public opinion aware of the silent dedication of people who, like you, seek to put the Gospel into effect 'sine glossa' with simplicity and joy. Nonetheless, you may be sure that the contribution you make to the apostolic and missionary activity of the Church in the world is truly extraordinary, and God will continue to bless you with the gift of many vocations, as He has up to now."

"May St. Francis, St. Clare and the many male and female saints of your order help you to 'persevere faithfully unto the end' in your vocations," the Pope concluded. "May the Virgin of Sorrows grant you the gift of following her divine crucified Son and of embracing with serenity the difficulties and trials of daily life."

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