He saw his priestly vocation as a gracious gift of God’s love, to be received with gratitude, joy and love. Imbued with a powerful sense of the Lord’s mercy, he encouraged his confreres to unite contemplation and apostolic zeal, and to confirm their preaching by the example of their lives.
Saint Joseph Cottolengo, who lived a generation before Saint Leonard, was another outstanding apostle of charity. Early in his priesthood, after a dramatic encounter with human suffering, he founded the "Little Home of Divine Providence", involving scores of people – priests, religious and laity alike – in a great charitable outreach which continues today.
May the example of these two great priests, outstanding for their love of God and their devotion to Christ and the Church, continue to inspire and sustain the many priests today who generously devote their lives to God and to the service of our brothers and sisters in need.I offer a most cordial welcome to the ecumenical delegations from the Lutheran Church of Norway and from the Church of England. My warm greeting also goes to the group of Jewish leaders visiting the Vatican with the Pave the Way Foundation.
Upon all the English-speaking visitors and pilgrims present at today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Norway, Indonesia and the United States of America I invoke Almighty God’s blessings of joy and peace!