Quotes from Pope Francis
What the Pope Says
“No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people. Did not Jesus say: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35)?
Pope Francis – January 16, 2014
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
for the 25th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE, 2021
This is the reason for our hope: that God never tires of waiting for us. When we turn away, he comes looking for us; when we fall, he lifts us to our feet; when we return to him after losing our way, he waits for us with open arms. His love is not weighed in the balance of our human calculations, but unstintingly gives us the courage to start anew. This teaches us resilience, the courage always to start again, each day. Always to start over after our falls. God is patient.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 58th WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
God looks on the heart (cf. 1 Sam 16:7), and in Saint Joseph he recognized the heart of a father, able to give and generate life in the midst of daily routines. Vocations have this same goal: to beget and renew lives every day. The Lord desires to shape the hearts of fathers and mothers: hearts that are open, capable of great initiatives, generous in self-giving, compassionate in comforting anxieties and steadfast in strengthening hopes. The priesthood and the consecrated life greatly need these qualities nowadays, in times marked by fragility but also by the sufferings due to the pandemic, which has spawned uncertainties and fears about the future and the very meaning of life. Saint Joseph comes to meet us in his gentle way, as one of “the saints next door”. At the same time, his strong witness can guide us on the journey.
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
for the 24th WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE, 2020
The gaze of consecrated men and women can only be one of hope. Knowing how to hope. Looking around, it is easy to lose hope: things that don’t work, the decline in vocations… There is always the temptation to have a worldly gaze, one devoid of hope. But let us look to the Gospel and see Simeon and Anna: they were elderly, alone, yet they had not lost hope, because they remained in communion with the Lord. Anna “did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day” (v. 37). Here is the secret: never to alienate oneself from the Lord, who is the source of hope. We become blind if we do not look to the Lord every day, if we do not adore him. To adore the Lord.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 57th WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm.
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
for the 23rd WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE, 2019
God calls us to encounter him through faithfulness to concrete things – God is always encountered in concrete things: daily prayer, Holy Mass, Confession, real charity, the daily word of God, closeness, especially to those most in need spiritually or physically. Concrete things, such as obedience to one’s superior and to the rule in the consecrated life.
In his Letter to Priests
August 4, 2019
“Vocation, more than our own choice, is a response to the Lord’s unmerited call”
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 56th WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.
Christus Vivit 285
“When seeking to discern our own vocation, there are certain questions we ought to ask. We should not start with wondering where we could make more money, or achieve greater recognition and social status. Nor even by asking what kind of work would be most pleasing to us. If we are not to go astray, we need a different starting point. We need to ask: Do I know myself, quite apart from my illusions and emotions? Do I know what brings joy or sorrow to my heart? What are my strengths and weaknesses? These questions immediately give rise to others: How can I serve people better and prove most helpful to our world and to the Church? What is my real place in this world? What can I offer to society? Even more realistic questions then follow: Do I have the abilities needed to offer this kind of service? Could I develop those abilities?”
Christus Vivit 288
“I want you to know that, when the Lord thinks of each of you and what he wants to give you, he sees you as his close friend. And if he plans to grant you a grace, a charism that will help you live to the full and become someone who benefits others, someone who leaves a mark in life, it will surely be a gift that will bring you more joy and excitement than anything else in this world. Not because that gift will be rare or extraordinary, but because it will perfectly fit you. It will be a perfect fit for your entire life.”
Christus Vivit 289
“A vocation, while a gift, will undoubtedly also be demanding. God’s gifts are interactive; to enjoy them we have to be ready to take risks. Yet the demands they make are not an obligation imposed from without, but an incentive to let that gift grow and develop, and then become a gift for others. When the Lord awakens a vocation, he thinks not only of what you already are, but of what you will one day be, in his company and in that of others.”
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
for the 22nd WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE, 2018
Today’s frantic pace leads us to close many doors to encounter, often for fear of others. Only shopping malls and internet connections are always open. Yet that is not how it should be with consecrated life: the brother and the sister given to me by God are a part of my history, gifts to be cherished. May we never look at the screen of our cellphone more than the eyes of our brothers or sisters, or focus more on our software than on the Lord. For whenever we put our own projects, methods and organization at the centre, consecrated life stops being attractive; it no longer speaks to others; it no longer flourishes because it forgets its very foundations, its very roots.
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
for the 22nd WORLD DAY FOR CONSECRATED LIFE, 2018
Consecrated life is born and reborn of an encounter with Jesus as he is: poor, chaste and obedient.
Some time ago the bishop of San Bernardo in Chile asked Pope Francis, “what would you say to a young person who at this moment feels a vocation to the priesthood or religious life?” The Pope’s answer was simple, “that he allow himself to be gazed at by Jesus. Jesus is the one who calls, not the priest, nor the bishop or the Pope. It is Jesus who gazes at him with love, who shows him the people, who shows him the needs of the people of God and says, ‘if you wish, come help.’”
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 55th WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
The Lord’s call – let it be said at the outset – is not as clear-cut as any of those things we can hear, see or touch in our daily experience. God comes silently and discreetly, without imposing on our freedom. Thus it can happen that his voice is drowned out by the many worries and concerns that fill our minds and hearts.
We need, then, to learn how to listen carefully to his word and the story of his life, but also to be attentive to the details of our own daily lives, in order to learn how to view things with the eyes of faith, and to keep ourselves open to the surprises of the Spirit.
Speaking at a Vocation Promotion Conference on October 21, 2016
Vocations promotion, which is the responsibility of every Catholic, the pope said, must follow the same steps Jesus used when interacting with people. “Jesus stopped and met the gaze of the other, without rushing,” he said. “This is what makes his call attractive and fascinating.” Jesus did not stay in “the secure fortress of the rectory,” the pope said, but set out into the cities and villages, pausing to listen to the people he came across, “taking in the desire of those who sought him out, the delusion of a failed night of fishing, the burning thirst of a woman who went to the well to get water or the strong need to change one’s life.” “In the same way, instead of reducing faith to a book of recipes or a collection of norms to observe, we can help young people ask the right questions, set out on their journey and discover the joy of the Gospel,” he said.
Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis For The 54th World Day Of Prayer For Vocations
Led by the Spirit for Mission
There can be no promotion of vocations or Christian mission apart from constant contemplative prayer. The Christian life needs to be nourished by attentive listening to God’s word and, above all, by the cultivation of a personal relationship with the Lord in Eucharistic adoration, the privileged “place” for our encounter with God. I wish heartily to encourage this kind of profound friendship with the Lord, above all for the sake of imploring from on high new vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. The People of God need to be guided by pastors whose lives are spent in service to the Gospel. I ask parish communities, associations and the many prayer groups present in the Church, not to yield to discouragement but to continue praying that the Lord will send workers to his harvest. May he give us priests enamoured of the Gospel, close to all their brothers and sisters, living signs of God’s merciful love. Dear brothers and sisters, today too, we can regain fervour in preaching the Gospel and we can encourage young people in particular to take up the path of Christian discipleship. Despite a widespread sense that the faith is listless or reduced to mere “duties to discharge”, our young people desire to discover the perennial attraction of Jesus, to be challenged by his words and actions, and to cherish the ideal that he holds out of a life that is fully human, happy to spend itself in love. Mary Most Holy, the Mother of our Saviour, had the courage to embrace this ideal, placing her youth and her enthusiasm in God’s hands. Through her intercession, may we be granted that same openness of heart, that same readiness to respond, “Here I am”, to the Lord’s call, and that same joy in setting out (cf. Lk 1:39), like her, to proclaim him to the whole world.
Message for The 53rd World Day Of Prayer for Vocations
The Church, Mother of Vocations
"Dear Brothers and Sisters, On this day dedicated to prayer for vocations, I urge all the faithful to assume their responsibility for the care and discernment of vocations. When the Apostles sought someone to take the place of Judas Iscariot, Saint Peter brought together one hundred and twenty of the brethren (cf. Acts 1:15); and in order to chose seven deacons, a group of disciples was gathered (cf. 6:2). Saint Paul gave Titus specific criteria for the selection of presbyters (cf. Titus 1:5-9). Still today, the Christian community is always present in the discernment of vocations, in their formation and in their perseverance (cf. Apost. Ex. Evangelii Gaudium, 107)."
From the Vatican, 29 November 2015, First Sunday of Advent
Address Of Pope Francis to The Young People Of The Diocese Of Rome involved In Vocational Discernment
Grotto of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens | Saturday, 28 June 2014
"I thank you for this visit, this visit to Our Lady, who is so important in our lives. And she accompanies us also in making this definitive choice, the choice of a vocation, because she accompanied her Son on his vocational path, which was so difficult, so painful. She accompanies us always." "A boy — a bishop once told me — a young person, a young professional said to him: “I would like to become a priest, but only for 10 years”. The temporary is like this. We are afraid of what is permanent. And to choose a vocation, any vocation, also those vocational “states”: marriage, consecrated life, the priesthood, we must choose with a permanent outlook for life. And this is contrary to the culture of the temporary. It is a part of the culture which we are living today, and we must live it and overcome it."
Address Of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants In The General Assembly Of The Italian Conference Of Secular Institutes
Consistory Hall | Saturday, 10 May 2014
"Secular institutes are themselves an act of courage that the Church made at that moment; such as to give structure, to institutionalize XX secular institutes. And from that time up to now, the good you do for the Church is very great, it is done with courage; for one needs great courage to live in the world. Many of you are alone, many come and go in your apartment; some of you live in small communities. Every day you live the life of a person in the world, and, at the same time, retain contemplation. This contemplative dimension with the Lord and in relation to the world, to contemplate reality, to contemplate the beauty of the word as well as the great sins of society, its deviations, all these things, and always in spiritual tension.... This is why your vocation is so fascinating, because it is a vocation which is spot on, where the salvation not only of people but of the institutions are at stake. And a great many lay institutions are necessary in the world. That is why I think that Provida Mater Ecclesia was a truly revolutionary step for the Church! "I hope that you will always retain this attitude of going beyond, not only beyond, but beyond and in between. There, where everything is at stake: politics, the economy, education, family... precisely there! Perhaps you are tempted maybe to think: “But what can I do?”. When you are tempted like this, remember that the Lord spoke to us about the grain of wheat! Your life is like a grain of wheat... precisely; it is like leaven... precisely. Doing everything possible so that the Kingdom may come, grow and be great, and also so that it may shelter many people, like the mustard tree. Think about this. Small life, small gesture; normal life with a leaven, a grain that produces growth. And this may reward you. The outcome of the Kingdom of God cannot be foreseen. Only the Lord allows us to divine something... We shall see the results in heaven."
Morning Meditation In The Chapel Of The domus Sanctae Marthae
Sisters And Priests Free From Idolatry
Monday, 3 March 2014
“When we ask the Lord to send vocations to proclaim the Gospel, he sends them”. And yet some say: “Father, things in the world are going so badly: there are no vocations to be a sister, there are no priestly vocations, we are going to end in ruin!”. “There are many vocations”, the Pope said. Yet, he asked, if they are so numerous “why do we need to ask the Lord to send them?”. He replied: “We need to pray that the hearts of these young people might be emptied: emptied of other interests, emptied of other loves, that their hearts might become free”. This, he said, is the true “prayer for vocations: Lord, send us sisters, send us priests; defend them from the idolatry of vanity, from the idolatry of pride, from the idolatry of power, from the idolatry of money”. And, he explained, “our prayer helps to prepare their hearts to closely follow the Lord”.
Listen and follow Jesus
Pope Francis spoke about vocations to a large crowd during the 51st World Day of Prayer for Vocations. He said:
"I invite you to listen to and follow Jesus, and to allow yourselves to be transformed interiorly by his words, which "are spirit and life" (Jn 6:62). Mary, the Mother of Jesus and ours, also says to us: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). It will help you to participate in a communal journey that is able to release the best energies in you and around you. A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love. Did not Jesus say: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35)?" "Let us dispose our hearts therefore to being "good soil", by listening, receiving and living out the word, and thus bearing fruit. The more we unite ourselves to Jesus through prayer, Sacred Scripture, the Eucharist, the Sacraments celebrated and lived in the Church and in fraternity, the more there will grow in us the joy of cooperating with God in the service of the Kingdom of mercy and truth, of justice and peace. And the harvest will be plentiful, proportionate to the grace we have meekly welcomed into our lives."
Source: new.va, From the Vatican, 15 January 2014
Priesthood: Being an ambassador of Christ
In a meeting with pastors and priests in Rome, Pope Francis said:
"We are always priests with all our soul and with all our heart. Being an ambassador of Christ ... is a mission that penetrates our entire being."
"This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. Here we see the reciprocity of differences… The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife, is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out."
"What is Marriage? It is a true and authentic vocation, as are the priesthood and the religious life. Two Christians who marry have recognized the call of the Lord in their own love story: the vocation to form one flesh and one life from two, male and female."
Meeting with the Young People of Umbria (October 4, 2013)
"The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage. This union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s own love, and of the acknowledgment and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the Creator’s goodness, wisdom and loving plan."
Lumen Fidei, no 52 (June 29, 2013)
Consecrated Life is an Encounter with Christ
"Dear Brothers and Sisters, in the light of this Gospel scene, let us look to consecrated life as an encounter with Christ: it is He who comes to us, led by Mary and Joseph, and we go towards Him guided by the Holy Spirit. But the centre is Him. He moves everything, He draws us to the Temple, to the Church, where we can meet Him, recognize Him, welcome Him, embrace Him. Jesus comes to us in the Church through the foundational charism of an Institute: it is nice to think of our vocation in this way! Our encounter with Christ took its shape in the Church through the charism of one of its witnesses. This always amazes us and makes us give thanks. And in the consecrated life we live the encounter between the young and the old, between observation and prophecy. Let’s not see these as two opposing realities! Let us rather allow the Holy Spirit to animate both of them, and a sign of this is joy: the joy of observing, of walking within a rule of life; the joy of being led by the Spirit, never unyielding, never closed, always open to voice of God that speaks, that opens, that leads us and invites us to go towards the horizon. It's good for the elderly to communicate their wisdom to the young; and is good for the young people to gather this wealth of experience and wisdom, and to carry it forward, not so as to store it in a museum, but to bring it forward addressing the challenges of life, to carry it forward for the sake of respective religious orders and of the whole Church."
2015 as the Year of Consecrated Life
"Every consecrated person is a gift for the People of God on a journey. There is much need of their presence, that strengthens and renews the commitment to spread the gospel, to Christian education, to charity for the most needy, to contemplative prayer; the commitment to a human and spiritual formation of young people, of families; the commitment to justice and peace in the human family," Pope Francis declared. Taking into account that February 2 is the World Day for Consecrated Life, the Pope continued, "consecrated persons are signs of God in diverse environments of life, they are leaven for the growth of a more just and fraternal society, prophecy of sharing with the little and the poor. As such understanding and experience, the consecrated life appears to us just as it really is: a gift of God! "What would happen if there were no sisters?" the pontiff said, departing from his prepared notes. "Sisters in the hospitals, sisters in the missions, sisters in the schools. one can't imagine it! They are the leaven that carry the people of God forward!" "The Church and the world have need of this testimony of the love and mercy of God," he stressed. While all Christians are consecrated to God in baptism and all are called to make "a generous gift of our lives, in the family, at work, in service to the Church, (and) in works of mercy," those in religious life experience this consecration "in a particular way. "Totally consecrated to God, they are totally given over to their brethren, to carry the light of Christ there where the darkness is thickest and to spread his hope to hearts who are discouraged," the pontiff said. Pope Francis said that the year 2015 will be dedicated in a special way to religious life. "It is necessary to value with gratitude the experience of consecrated life and deepen the knowledge of different charisms and spiritualities. We must pray, so that many young people respond 'yes' to the Lord who calls them to consecrate themselves wholly to Him for disinterested service to their brethren." Pope Francis also made special mention of the "Day for Life" celebrated in Italy, thanking everyone who works to defend life, "to accept, respect and promote it, especially when it is fragile and in need of attention and care, from the womb of a mother until its end on this earth."
Source: Catholic Online
Pope Francis at Mass on World Day for Consecrated Life
"For if the young are called to open new doors, the elderly hold the keys. An institute remains youthful by going back to its roots, by listening to its older members. There is no future without this encounter between the old and the young. There is no growth without roots and no flowering without new buds. There is never prophecy without memory, or memory without prophecy."
Source: Vatican News
Message Of His Holiness Pope Francis For The 2018 World Day Of Vocations
"The joy of the Gospel, which makes us open to encountering God and our brothers and sisters, does not abide our slowness and our sloth. It will not fill our h...earts if we keep standing by the window with the excuse of waiting for the right time, without accepting this very day the risk of making a decision. Vocation is today! The Christian mission is now! Each one of us is called – whether to the lay life in marriage, to the priestly life in the ordained ministry, or to a life of special consecration – in order to become a witness of the Lord, here and now... ...We should not wait to be perfect in order to respond with our generous “yes”, nor be fearful of our limitations and sins, but instead open our hearts to the voice of the Lord. To listen to that voice, to discern our personal mission in the Church and the world, and at last to live it in the today that God gives us."
Source: Vatican News
Pope Francis’ message was released in advance of the 56th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
“Responding to the Lord’s call involves putting ourselves on the line and facing a great challenge. It means being ready to leave behind whatever would keep us tied to our little boat and prevent us from making a definitive choice,” the pope said March 9. “We are called to be bold and decisive in seeking God’s plan for our lives,” he continued. “Gazing out at the vast ‘ocean’ of vocation, we cannot remain content to repair our nets on the boat that gives us security, but must trust instead in the Lord’s promise.” “Every vocation is a summons not to stand on the shore, nets in hand, but to follow Jesus on the path he has marked out for us, for our own happiness and for the good of those around us.” “The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom…On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking. He opens before our eyes the horizon of a greater sea and an abundant catch.”
Are you ready to build a culture of vocations in your parish?