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Rome Reports

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Pope to cloistered nuns: "May your prayer bring the misery of men to God"

Pope Francis began his last day in Peru accompanied by 500 Peruvian nuns from various contemplative life monasteries. He prayed the Liturgy of the Hours with them in the Shrine of the Lord of Miracles, the patron saint of Peru.

After a greeting by Mother Soledad, Superior of the Carmelite Sisters, the pope gave them a brief homily, but first he joked with the sisters.

"Seeing you here, I get the impression that you took advantage of this visit to get out for some fresh air!"

The pope told them their life-long dedication to prayer goes far beyond the walls of their convents, because they do incredible good for the people for whom they pray.

"You are like the friends who brought the paralytic to the Lord for healing. They were not embarrassed, they were unashamed. They were not embarrassed to make a hole in the roof and lower the paralytic. Be without shame, do not be ashamed to pray that the misery of men is overcome by the power of God."

He recognized that their prayers heal the wounds of countless people. For that reason, he invited the religious to always have an open heart.

"For this very reason we can affirm that cloistered life neither closes nor shrinks our hearts, but rather widens them. Woe to the nun who has a shrunken heart! Please look for a remedy. You cannot be a contemplative nun with a shrunken heart. Try to breathe again and have a big heart again."

Finally, he asked them to take care of the ambience inside the convent, in order to avoid becoming ‘terrorist nuns,’ gossiping and destroying everything.