Thousands of pilgrims joined Pope Francis for the Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday. On the feast day of the Good Shepherd, the Pope recalled that although many people call themselves "shepherds,” only the "Risen Christ is the true Shepherd.”
He asked all Catholics to pray for bishops, priests and for himself, to keep guiding the "people of God.” He also mentioned the 13 bishops that he had ordained earlier in the day at St. Peter's Basilica. A tradition John Paul II started in 1993.
"In particular we pray for the new priests of the Diocese of Rome, who I ordained a little while ago in St. Peter's Basilica. Greetings to these thirteen priests! May the Lord help us, us pastors, to be ever faithful to the Master and to be wise and enlightened guides of the people of God entrusted to us.”
While asking priests to be good shepherds, the Pope also asked Catholics to be close to their priests. As an example, he cited a priest from the early days of the Church, St. Caesarius of Arles.
"When the calf is hungry, it goes to the cow, to the mother, and takes the milk. But the cow does not give it right away: it seems that she keeps it for herself. And what does the calf do? It knocks with its nose against the cow’s udder, so that the milk comes. It’s a beautiful image! I ask you, please, bother the pastors, disturb the pastors, all of us pastors, so that we will give you the milk of grace, of doctrine, and of guidance. Bother us!”
The Pope called on Catholics to pray for vocations, especially among the youth, so they may hear "the Lord's voice, which is always in danger of being suffocated by so many other voices.”