At the Vatican on Friday, the Pope received members of the Circle of St. Peter who brought him, as is traditional, the "Peter's Pence" collection conducted every year in the parishes and institutes of Rome's diocese.
Addressing the members of the society on the day that the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the Pope thanked them for their service, which he told the volunteers shows “your unconditional faithfulness to the Church and its universal pastor, the Roman pontiff".
"Yours, he continued, is a much appreciated apostolate that offers constant witness to the love that you hold for the Church and in particular for the Holy See".
Founded in the 19th century, the Circle of St. Peter gives voluntary help in papal ceremonies and cares for people in need in Rome. The Circle is also entrusted with the ancient privilege of collecting the fund known as Peter's Pence, which is given to the Holy Father so that he can respond to requests for aid from around the world, especially from the poorest countries.
Thank you for this service", he finished, "that you carry out with such generosity and a spirit of sacrifice".