"And from this continuous intimacy with our Shepherd comes the joy of following him, allowing us to lead to the fullness of eternal life."
Jesus the Good Shepherd welcomes and loves, not only one's strengths, but one's faults, he said.
"The Good Shepherd -- Jesus -- is attentive to each of us, seeks us and loves us, addressing his word to us, knowing our heart, our desires and our hopes, as well as our failures and disappointments."
He asked for the Blessed Virgin Mary's intercession, especially for priests and consecrated, who, he said, are called "to welcome Christ's invitation to be his most direct collaborators in the proclamation of the Gospel."
After the Regina Coeli, Francis noted the celebration, in many countries, of Mother's Day. He sent his warm greetings to all mothers and thanked them for "their precious work in raising their children and protecting the value of the family."
The pope also recalled all the mothers who "look at us from heaven and continue to watch over us with prayer."
Recalling the May 13 feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, "our heavenly mother," he said "we entrust ourselves to her to continue our journey with joy and generosity."
He also prayed for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Earlier in the day, Pope Francis ordained 19 new priests in St. Peter's Basilica. The men had been studying for the priesthood in Rome and are mostly Italian, with others coming from Croatia, Haiti, Japan, and Peru.
Eight are from the Priestly Society of the Sons of the Cross, one from the Family of Disciples. Eight from Neocatechumenal Way's Redemptoris Mater seminary were ordained for the Archdiocese of Rome.
Pope Francis gave the homily prescribed in the Ritual for the Ordination of Priests, to which he added a few of his own thoughts.
He recommended the new priests regularly read and meditate on the Scriptures, and advised they always prepare to give a homily with time in prayer and with "the Bible in hand."
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"Let your teaching be therefore nourishment to the People of God: when it comes from the heart and is born of prayer, it will be so fruitful," he said.
He also told the new priests to be careful in their celebration of the Mass, asking them not to "mess it up with petty interests."
"Aware of having been chosen among men and constituted in their favor to await the things of God, exercise in joy and charity, with sincerity, the priestly work of Christ, solely intent on pleasing God and not yourselves," the pope said. "Priestly joy is found only on this path, seeking to please God who has elected us."
The priest, he added, should be "close to God in prayer, close to the bishop who is your father, close to the presbytery, to other priests, as brothers... and close to the People of God."