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Pope thanks Papal Gentlemen, ushers

January 10, 2014 - Pope Francis on Friday thanked two separate groups of papal attendants who serve him at special ceremonies in the Vatican, urging them to carry the interior light of the Babe of Bethlehem in the various situations of their lives. Addressing the Papal Gentlemen along with their families, Pope Francis reminded them that their very name calls for gentleness and cordiality to put at ease the many personalities who come to meet the Pope. Also called the Gentlemen of His Holiness, the Papal Gentlemen are lay people who grace ceremonial and formal occasions such as escorting dignitaries and heads of state to the pontiff. Gentleness and cordiality, the Pope said, can find their true roots in a life animated by faith, that bears witness to a coherent living of the Gospel, without staining it with worldliness.
Later, talking to papal ushers, known as ‘Sediari Pontifici’ in Italian, the Pope urged them to witness to humility, simplicity and the spirit of service in life with an attitude of readiness and openness. Reminding them about Jesus who came to serve and not be served, the Pope said their work can become an occasion to transmit to those they meet the joy of being Christians. The ‘Sediari Pontifici’ once used to carry the Pope on a chair or throne on their shoulders during ceremonies and formal occasions, but today they can be seen at occasions such as weekly general audiences, helping visitors with special needs and picking out children in the crowd for the Pope to caress and bless.


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