Pope Francis to Peruvian clergy: It hurts me to see withered bishops, priests, nuns and seminarians

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In Trujillo, Pope Francis couldn't skip a special act, being that he's so devoted to Mary. In the cathedral, the Holy Father placed this bouquet of flowers at the foot of the image of the Immaculate Conception of Otuzco. 

Only some 300 people were inside the cathedral, but thousands more awaited Pope Francis outside.

“Francis, friend, Trujillo is with you.”

The streets of Trujillo overflowed with people wanting to show their affection for the pope. Minutes later, he arrived at the seminary where he held an encounter with Peruvian clergy. 

The excitement was in the air, and Pope Francis had to ask for calm. He then began his discourse with a joke. 

“Good afternoon.”
“As it's customary for applause to come at the end, that means it's over, so I'm leaving.”

The pope asked them to have good memory and be happy and grateful. The Holy Father spoke of the importance of caring for roots to be fruitful.

“I'm telling you it's hurtful to see some bishop, some priest, some nun withered, and it hurts me more to see withered seminarians.”

Later, Pope Francis recommended that they laugh at themselves as a way to be happy always and avoid self-centeredness. 

“Yes, Father, but you don't have a remedy, something? I have two pills that are... that help greatly. One is talking with Jesus, Mary, prayer. Pray and ask for the grace of joy, for joy for reality. The second pill you can take various times each day if you need it. If not, one's enough – look in the mirror.”

The pope told them their vocation was not to do what they liked most and reminded them they can't be “civil servants of the sacred.”

“It's good for us to remember that our vocations are a call out of love to love, to serve, not to get something for ourselves.”

Thus, Pope Francis encouraged them to listen and learn from the older priests, clergy and nuns, because they've been there before. 

The young people walk fast, but the old people know the path.”

Before leaving, the Holy Father told them to inspire coexistence within communities, so there are no divisions, and to be wary of the “only child” temptation.

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