The Holy Father today received the rector, students, former students and superiors of the diocesan seminary of Rome, the "Almo Collegio Capranica," on the occasion of the feast day of their patroness, St Agnes.
The "Almo Collegio" forms students to the priesthood for Rome, other Italian dioceses and the rest of the world.
"In order to achieve correct discernment," the Pope said, "it is essential to hold an intense and trusting dialogue at various levels, with superiors and fellow students. Constant attention to the expectations of the Church and of the world, and especially of the poor, are also necessary."
The Holy Father asked the seminarians to combine their theological studies with meditation on the Word of God and to maintain "an intense personal dialogue with Jesus, our divine Master.”
May the Eucharist be, above all, the point of reference for your lives”, he said. “May it become in everyday life the source of grace from which your actions derive, and the apex of perfection to which you constantly tend."
After recalling that he visited the "Almo Collegio" 25 years ago, John Paul II indicated that in order to commemorate that date the seminary had recently organized a congress on the theology of the priesthood and on the "historical forms that, from the beginning, have characterized the formative itinerary of your institute.”
“May this important anniversary," the Holy Father concluded, "be a further stimulus for you to grow in communion with Peter's Successor and in love for the Church."