Vatican City, Oct 5, 2019 / 09:15 am
Pope Francis created 13 new cardinals Saturday, encouraging each of them to ask for the grace to have a compassionate heart like Christ.
“The readiness of a cardinal to shed his own blood – as signified by the scarlet color of your robes – is secure if it is rooted in this awareness of having been shown compassion and in the ability to show compassion in turn,” Pope Francis said at the consistory Oct. 5.
“Today, let us implore, through the intercession of the apostle Peter, the grace to have a compassionate heart, in order to be witnesses of the One who has looked with favor upon us, who chose us, consecrated us and sent us to bring to everyone his Gospel of salvation,” he said in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The new cardinals come from Africa, Europe, North and Central America, and Asia. Pope Francis said in the announcement of their selection Sept. 1 that the diverse origins of these cardinals “expresses the missionary vocation of the Church, which continues to proclaim the merciful love of God to all people on earth."
Pope Francis placed a red hat on each cardinal’s head and said: “To the glory of almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See, receive the scarlet biretta as a sign of the dignity of the cardinalate, signifying your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith, for the peace and tranquility of the people of God and for the freedom and growth of the Holy Roman Church.”
Each of the newly elevated cardinals received a ring, and was assigned a titular church, tying them to the Diocese of Rome.
Among the recipients of the red hat was Canadian Jesuit Michael Czerny, whom Pope Francis ordained a bishop in the basilica the day prior. Cardinal Czerny, the head of the Migrants and Refugees section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, chose a pectoral cross made of wood from a boat used by migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Two of the other new cardinals also work inside the Vatican: Spanish Archbishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; and Portuguese Archbishop José Tolentino Mendonca, librarian of the Holy Roman Church.