During his visit to Assisi, Pope Francis visited the Basilica of St. Clare, where the Order of Poor Clares was founded by that very saint. During his speech the Pope said nuns must express the joy and humanity that comes from knowing Jesus.
"When you embark on the journey of contemplating Jesus, of prayer and penance with Jesus Christ, your humanity grows. Cloistered nuns are called to have great humanity, a humanity like that of our Mother Church. FLASH. "How does a nun express that humanity? Through joy, joy and then more joy! It saddens me when I see nuns who are not joyful. They may smile, but it's a fake smile like that of a flight attendant. No! Show that smile that joy that comes from within, ok?”
The Pope sat in the same room where the St. Damiano Crucifix is kept. Roughly 800 years ago, when St. Francis was praying before that very Crucifix, he heard a voice that said, 'Francis, Rebuild My Church.' The Pope urged religious to take care of communal life, despite its challenges.
"Forgive, show patience. It's not easy to live in community. The devil takes advantage of your differences. You'll say '0I don't want to be rude, but...' That doesn't work because it doesn't lead anywhere. It leads to division. Take care our your friendship and your love. A monastery shouldn't be a purgatory, it should be a family.”
At the end of their meeting the Pope personally greeted the nuns. First, the older sisters who are sick, then he listened attentively to the rest, who shared a few words and hugs with the Pope.