Rome, Italy, Jun 17, 2016 / 11:00 am
On Friday afternoon Pope Francis visited two communities of priests in Rome as part of his "Mercy Friday" initiative to spend time with various groups each month during the Jubilee of Mercy.
"This afternoon, continuing the series of 'Mercy Friday' jubilee initiatives, Pope Francis decided to turn his attention to priests," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, said in a June 17 communique.
The spokesman noted that after having celebrated a Jubilee for Priests earlier this month as part of the wider Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis wanted to show "his closeness and attention" to those who weren't able to participate in person.
"Because of this the Pope – untiringly – chose not just one, but two communities of priests," where he made surprise stops in what turned into "a long and intense afternoon rich with encounters, emotions, spiritual joy, and moments of prayer."