Today in his audience the Pope received the representatives of the Order of Friars Minor and told them: “You retained the love of the people of God through your humility, brotherhood, mildness and poverty. Do not lose it, the people love you”. Then he added: “The most important thing is to live a Christian life avoiding arguments and chatters, cultivating a peaceful exchange with everyone, being gentle, meek, modest, with poor means, announcing peace and living soberly, being glad to have what is offered to you”.
According to Bergoglio “This also requires a decisive commitment to transparency, to the ethical and fair use of resources, using them in a sober way. If, instead, you are attached to the goods and riches of the world, making them being your only certainty, the Lord himself will deprive you of this spirit of mundanity, in order to preserve the precious heritage made of humility and poverty to which you were called through the medium of St. Francis. Live in humility and poverty, otherwise you will be denuded.”
In his introduction, Michael Perry, the General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor, talked about the recent financial scandal. “Sometimes, our sober way of life wavers, and this makes us appear not credible. Sometimes our commitment to “poverty and humility” fails, as unfortunately happened in recent questionable management decisions.” And the Pope replied: “The people of God loves you. The cardinal Quarracino – Archbishop of Buenos Aires before Bergoglio – once told me more or less these words: ‘in our cities there are haters of priests that call them ‘crows’ or things like that, insulting them. They never, never, never insult a Franciscan. Why? Through brotherhood, humility, and poverty, you have earned the love of the people of God. Please, keep it, don’t lose it. The people loves you.”
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo