Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Pope received in audience this morning a group of students, faculty and staff of the Capranica College, Seminary of the Diocese of Rome has over 500 years of history.
Having been founded in the days of St. Agnes - who is the patroness of the College - the Pope focused his speech on this holy person, relating it to the vocation to the priesthood.
For Santa Inês, martyrdom meant the generous acceptance and free to devote his life fully and without reservation, to proclaim the Gospel as truth and beauty that illuminate existence. His friendship with Christ and the testimony of his Gospel - explained the pope - are a primary element of the spiritual physiognomy of Rome.
In martyrdom, Agnes also stands her virginity for Christ and the Church. The total gift of martyrdom is the result of his decision to be completely of Christ. "Ines has learned that being a disciple of the Lord means loving him putting all existence."
"Thus, the formation of an elder requires integrity, completeness, ascetic exercise, heroic constancy and fidelity, but with a solid spiritual life animated by an intense relationship with God, personal and communal, liturgical celebrations and in the Sacraments" - Benedict XVI recalled.
Continuing his speech, the Pope quoted a requirement for priestly life, growing aspiration for holiness, the "sensus Ecclesiae", the opening to the fraternity without exclusion or partiality. Moreover, this choice requires the preparation of seminarians of his own intelligence and commitment and a real and solid personal culture.
Finally, Benedict XVI recalled the importance of future priests of the deep history and tradition of the Church, and the fact that being in Rome is "a gift that should be more aware of the depth of the Catholic tradition."
Also the fact of its proximity to the Successor of Peter - according to the Pope - allows them to clearly understand the dimensions of the universal Church and the desire to get the Gospel to all peoples.
Benedict XVI ended his speech by advising students in this seminar to breathe and experience the catholicity of the Rome International in its training and Catholic vision. "This will help you feel close to all the people you meet, not allowing the cultural difference is a barrier to the Word of life which will be announced with their lives."