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Pope urges Christians to visit elderly priests, religious

October 13, 2013 - Pope Francis is urging Christians to visit elderly priests and nuns forgotten in old age homes and centres saying they are “true sanctuaries of holiness and apostolicity.” The Pope’s heart went all out to elderly priests and religious in the twilight of their life, in his homily at Mass Friday morning at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta residence. Taking his cue from the days’ scripture readings, the Holy Father noted that like the disciples at the beginning of their apostolic life, the priests and religious were "young" and "strong" but now, like stalwarts such as Saint Paul, Moses and John the Baptist they too are "in their twilight years". The Lord did not spare them suffering, but He did not abandon them, the Pope said, recalling good elderly priests and nuns, loneliness weighing upon them, waiting for the Lord to come and knock on the door of their heart. “These are true sanctuaries of apostolicity and holiness that we have in the Church. We must not forget them!" the Pope urged. He recalled people recounting making pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady, St. Francis, St. Benedict and so one. “But I wonder if we Christians have the desire to make a visit - a real pilgrimage - to these sanctuaries of apostolicity and holiness, which are the homes of priests and nuns,” the Pope said. “In nursing homes, these nuns and priests await the Lord, a bit sad like St. Paul, but also with a certain peace, a cheerful face. " (Source: Vatican)


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