Pope Francis met with the Dominicans during their General Chapter. He jokingly referred to his day as a "Jesuit among friars.”
During the encounter, he advised the Order to meditate on St. Dominic's statement: "I could not bear to prize dead skins, when living skins were starving and in need."
"Looking around us, we see that the men and women of today are thirsting for God. They are the living flesh of Christ, who shout 'I thirst,' for an authentic and liberating word, a fraternal gesture and tenderness. This cry challenges us and should be the backbone of our mission and give life to structures and pastoral programs.”
The Pope reminded the friars that preaching the Word of God must be prefaced with love and mercy, so that the truth will be able to eliminate the thirst felt throughout the world today.
"The more you go out to quench the thirst of others, the more you will be preachers of truth, which is announced first by love and mercy.”
He also thanked the Order of Preachers for their contibution to the Church for the past 800 years and for adhering to the Apostolic See in a spirit of faithful service. Pope Francis asked them to continue their mission by living out the charism instituted by Saint Dominic.
"I encourage you to joyfully follow the charism inspired by Saint Dominic, which has been lived out in various nuances by many saints in the Dominican family. His example is the momentum needed to face the future with hope, knowing that God always renews everything... and does not disappoint.”
Pope Francis closed the meeting praying to Our Lady of the Rosary to intercede for the friars, so they could live as courageous witnesses of God's love and quench the thirst the world has for Christ.
In the last statistics from 2014, there were 6,135 male religious in the Order of Preachers. About 4,400 of them are priests, who are spread out in dozens of countries.