Pope Francis met with more than 1300 people who are in charge of the religious formation of individuals. The group gave the Pope a very warm welcome in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.
A total of 418 of them are from religious orders and congregations, who represent 106 countries.
"The Cardinal briefed me about the numbers and how many of you are here. I thought: 'Despite the lack of vocations, I see more formers than formed. This is a problem. It's necessary to ask the Lord for more vocations and to do whatever possible to bring in those vocations.”
The Pope recognized that there is a lack of vocations, but that doesn't mean, he stressed, that anyone should be allowed in a congregation.
Following a consecrated life requires a solid foundation. A formation so unique that it's rarely offered exclusively by one's family. In light of this huge responsibility, the Pope then added that the best way to evangelize and bring in more vocations is through living out a coherent life.
"I am also convinced that there isn't a vocation crisis in places where there are consecrated people, who through their own testimony, transmit the beauty of consecration. It's a testimony that gives fruit.”
In order for that testimony to be fruitful, the Pope recommended they remember the first imprint Jesus left in their lives. He then asked them to be patient with the young and caring with the elderly.