The Arch-priest of the Basilica, Cardinal James Harvey welcomed the Pope. Also there were Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo and Francesco Monterisi, the arch-priest emeritus of the Basilica.
Also there was a group of Benedictine monks, who actually live in a monastery that's within the area surrounding the Basilica. Edmund Power, who serves as the abbot greeted the Pope along with other monks.
Before Mass, the Pope blessed the tomb of Apostle Paul.
"We are at the tomb of Saint Paul, a great yet humble Apostle of the Lord, who proclaimed Him by word, bore witness to Him by martyrdom and worshiped Him with all his heart.”
The Pope talked about the need for Christians to practice what they preach. He then added that even today, people are persecuted, just like St. Paul, for practicing their faith.
"There are the saints of every day, the 'hidden' saints, a sort of "middle class of holiness” to which we can all belong. But in different parts of the world, there are also those who suffer, like Peter and the Apostles, on account of the Gospel; there are those who give their lives in order to remain faithful to Christ by means of a witness marked by the shedding of their blood.”
The Pope emphasized that when Catholics, be it pastors or laypeople, lead a life that's not coherent with the teachings of the faith, it damages the credibility of the Church.
"Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.”
Before ending the Mass, the Pope prayed at the Chapel of the Crucifix, which is inside the Basilica. It was there, back in 1541 that St. Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order, took his religious vows, along with a group of followers.