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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Religious vocation is by no means a bed of roses

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Pope Francis met with priests and consecrated religious in the Basilica of St Zeno, where the relics of the patron saint are kept. Located in Verona, the pope took time to greet the men and women, praising the radical life they’ve chosen to lead.

“I wanted to begin by greeting these women, the cloistered nuns. Did you see how they all looked like that?

“Because in the cloister, in the enclosure, there is no loss of joy. There is joy. And they are good. They never gossip, never, never. They are good. Thank you, sisters.”

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This temple was chosen by Shakespeare as the setting where, according to the play Romeo and Juliet, the main characters were buried.

Aside from Shakespeare, the pope spoke of Verona’s influence on other literary authors.

“It is pleasant to be in this Romanesque Basilica, one of the most beautiful in Italy, which also inspired poets such as Dante and Carducci.”

The pope reminded those present of the humanity of those who choose a religious vocation. That the religious vocation is by no means a bed of roses and there are hard moments that must be resisted.

“So many times we forget this: none of us, when we began to walk this path, were told by the Lord that everything would be beautiful or comforting. No,” he expressed.

“Life is joy, moments of joy, but also dark moments. Resilience. The ability, the courage to go on and the courage to endure.”

At the end of the meeting, gifts were presented to Pope Francis, including the baptismal certificate of the priest and philosopher Romano Guardini, who was born in Verona but later lived in Germany. He is one of Pope Francis’ favourite writers.

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