Loading
Elderly priests, sisters are 'true shrines of holiness,' Pope says
By Elise Harris
Pope Francis during his general audience on Sept. 25, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.
Pope Francis during his general audience on Sept. 25, 2013. Credit: Elise Harris/CNA.

.- During his daily Mass homily Pope Francis reflected on various biblical figures who experienced difficulty in their old age, and encouraged those present not to forget the elderly.

The Pope directed his reflections to those gathered in the Santa Marta guesthouse of the Vatican on Oct. 18 for his daily Mass, centering his thoughts upon the latter lives of Moses, John the Baptist and Saint Paul.

These three figures, he noted, remind him of “the shrines of holiness which are the nursing homes of elderly priests and religious sisters.”

Pope Francis recalled the excitement and enthusiasm displayed by all three men in their youth, and contrasted it to isolation and pain they suffered at the end of their lives, stressing that although none of them were spared suffering in their old age, the Lord never abandoned them.

Noting that the apostle Paul “has a joyful and enthusiastic beginning,” the Pope recalled that he experienced a decline in the latter years of his life, and both Moses and John the Baptist shared a similar experience.

“Moses, when young,” stressed the pontiff, was “the courageous leader of the People of God who fought against his enemies” in order to save his people, however at the end of his life “he is alone on Mount Nebo, looking at the promised land” but is unable to enter it.

Saint John the Baptist, noted the Pope, in his later life was tormented by anguish, and “finished under the power of a weak, corrupt and drunken ruler who in turn was under the power of an adulteress’ jealousy and the capricious wishes of a dancer.”

Turning his thoughts back to Saint Paul, Pope Francis stressed that the apostle endured a similar experience, speaking in his letters of those who abandoned him and rejected his teachings.

However, the Pope clarified that although Paul wrote about his great sufferings, he also wrote that “the Lord was close to him and gave him the strength to complete his mission of announcing the Gospel.”

Pope Francis concluded his reflections by stressing that the situations of the three biblical characters in their old age reminded him of those elderly priests and religious sisters in nursing homes.

Referring to them as a “shrine of holiness,” he urged the guests present not to forget the elderly, and to visit them, because “bearing the burden of solitude, these priests and sisters are waiting for the Lord to knock at the door of their hearts.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Daily Mass


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
25

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Gospel
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »

Saint
Date
04/24/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14

Homily
Date
04/25/14
04/24/14
04/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: