Pope Francis: Without prayer, the fire within priests will slowly die out

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St. Peter's Basilica celebrated with a sense of restrained joy one of the most beautiful ceremonies to take place within its walls: the ordination of new priests by the Pope. 

Nine new priests were ordained in total. 

The ceremony is full of symbolism and significant moments such as this one, in which the Pope verifies that the candidates have been deemed suitable to enter the priesthood. 

Are you certain they worthy?

According to the information of the Christian people and according to the judgment of those who have trained them, I can confirm that they are worthy.

Pope Francis asked the future priests pay attention to four aspects of the priesthood: the first two of which are closeness to people and closeness to God. 

Be close to God's holy and faithful people. But first of all, be close to God with prayer. A priest who does not pray will slowly extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit.

He also advised them to cultivate two other types of spiritual closeness: by supporting their bishops and fellow priests.

Never speak ill of a brother priest. If you have something against another, be men. Go there and say it to his face.

The Pope warned against the temptation to 'make a career' of the priesthood, reminding them that priests are not meant to act like entrepreneurs, but to live in service of others.

As a result of minor improvements in the continuing health crisis, more people were permitted to attend the ceremony in the basilica. 

The nine candidates varied widely in age. From those who are over 40 years old to others like Samuel Piermarini, who is still in his twenties. 

This newly ordained priest had previously been recruited to play soccer for A.S. Roma's youth team, but he turned down the offer. Some time later he decided to enter the seminary.

At the end of the ceremony Pope Francis kissed the hands of the new priests and one of them gave his first blessing, to the Pope no less.

Javier Romero

TR: Justin McLellan

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