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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Mo' Mercy & Francis Effect: Francis visits seven former priests, now married, and their families

Francis visits seven former priests, now married, and their families

This afternoon the Pope paid a visit to some men who gave up the priesthood to start a family. On this final “Mercy Friday”, Francis wished to show his closeness to those who made a choice that does not always go down well with fellow priests and relatives

Today Francis went to offer comfort to former priests who decided to leave the priesthood to start a family. He left St. Martha’s House at 3:30 this afternoon and made his way to Ponte di Nona, a neighbourhood in the eastern suburbs of Rome.
The Pope met seven families at a local apartment. They were the families of young men who decided to leave the priesthood within the past few years. The Vatican Press Office informed that the Pope’s visit was intended as a sign of closeness and affection to these young men who in many cases made a choice that was not met with the approval of their confrères and relatives.

Having dedicated several years to the priestly ministry, serving in parishes, solitude, incomprehension and weariness in the face of their pastoral responsibility began to set in, leading them to question their initial decision to enter the priesthood. Months and years of uncertainty and doubt led them to realise they had made the wrong choice in joining the priesthood, hence their decision to renounce it and start a family.

Pope Francis was therefore keen to visit these young people: four of them from the diocese of Rome, where they served as parish priests in different parishes across the city, one from Madrid and another from Latin America, both living in Rome, while another hailed from Sicily.

The get-together marked the final “Mercy Friday” visit in a series of monthly initiatives held to mark the Jubilee Year.

The Pope’s arrival was met with great enthusiasm, the Holy See Press Office reports: “The children huddled around the Pope to hug him, while their parents were unable to hide their emotion.” The Holy Father’s visit was greatly appreciated by all those present who felt nothing but closeness and affection from the Pope, who was not judgemental”. Time flew. The Pope “listened to their stories and took great interest in hearing their thoughts on the development since the legal proceedings for each of their cases. With his fatherly words, he reassured everyone present of his friendship and personal interest in their cases.”

Francis’ gesture was “yet another act of mercy towards those experiencing spiritual or material strife, highlighting that no one should be deprived of the love and support of pastors.”

The visit ended at around 5:20 pm.


Woman nearly faints after greeting "the pope"

After the pope delivered a catechesis to the homeless on Friday morning in Paul VI Audience Hall, he spent time personally greeting each and every person present. However, some were so excited, they could not contain themselves. 

After shaking Pope Francis' hand, this young woman was so giddy with joy. She began waving and was in such shock that she fell backwards, nearly fainting!

Good thing the two men behind her were there to catch her and lift her back up to see the pope once more.