After the prayer and benediction, Francis met with the bishops of Peru in the chapel of Lima's chancery.
In his speech to bishops he focused on the 16th century saint from Spain, St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, who served as the archbishop of Lima for 25 years, and is known for having upheld the rights of Peru's indigenous peoples.
He was canonized in 1726, making him one of the first canonized saints of the Americas. During his time as archbishop, Turibius made three different visitations to the land of his diocese, crossing rugged and dangerous terrain.
"He went out to encounter everyone, along paths that, in the words of his secretary, were meant more for goats than for people," Francis said.
"He knew that this was the one way to be a pastor: to be close to his own, dispensing the sacraments, and he constantly exhorted his priests to do the same," not just with words, but as a witness "in the front lines of evangelization."
The Pope noted that when St. Turibius was visiting and living with his people he learned to speak their languages so that they could really understand the Gospel, and it could touch their hearts.
This is a good lesson for bishops of the 21st century too, he pointed out, who not only sometimes need to learn new languages in the traditional sense, but also to learn the language of the digital age, in order to communicate well with young people, families and children.
St. Turibius also believed that "there could be no evangelization without charity," Francis said. "He knew that the supreme form of evangelization is to model in our own lives the self-giving of Jesus Christ, out of love for every man and woman."
"Dear brothers, work for unity," Francis concluded. "Do not remain prisoners of divisions that create cliques and hamper our vocation to be a sacrament of communion."
"Remember: what was attractive about the early church was how they loved one another. That was – and is and always will be – the best way to evangelize."
At the end of the meeting, the Pope also held a lengthy question-and-answer session with the bishops.
(Story continues below)
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