-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Pope Francis Receives Papal Gentlemen
Calls on Them to Bear Witness Through Their Service in the Papal Household
VATICAN CITY, January 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Politeness and cordiality are qualities that find their root in a life inspired by faith.
These were the words of Pope Francis to the Papal Gentlemen during an audience at the Vatican Apostolic Palace this morning.
Created by Pope Paul VI in 1968, the lay corps form part of the papal household and are given an honorific duty for their work in the Church. They were previously known as the Papal Chamberlains of the Sword and Cape, a role that was either by secret participation or hereditary. Their main current role is to receive heads of Government or State upon arrival in the Vatican and to accompany them to their meeting with the Pontiff.
"The various authorities and other personalities who visit the See of Peter experience their first contact with this House and receive their first impressions through you, dear Gentlemen", the Pope noted. "As your name indicates, the gifts of politeness and cordiality are therefore necessary to put these people at ease. These human qualities find their most authentic root in a life inspired by faith, which bears witness to evangelical coherence unmarred by worldly attitudes".
Regarding the Christmas season that is about to end, the Pope encouraged the Gentlemen and their families to ensure that "this inner light is not dispersed, so we may bring to our daily, family and professional lives the joy of faith, which is expressed in charity, benevolence and tenderness".
"I bless you all and wish you a serene and fruitful year. Let us pray for each other", he concluded. (J.A.E.)
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