2014-03-10 13:43:39

Papal secretary recalls transition

(Vatican Radio) In the context of the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, the Holy Father’s first private secretary, Msgr. Alfred Xuereb has granted a lengthy interview to Vatican Radio. In a wide-ranging conversation with Vatican Radio’s Alessandro Gisotti, the Maltese priest, who served under the Pope-emeritus, Benedict XVI, and has recently been appointed Prelate-Secretary to the Holy See’s newly-created Secretariat for the Economy, speaks of Benedict’s extraordinary courtesy and gentleness, as well as his “benevolent paternity”.

He tells the story of how the Pope-emeritus blessed him for the last time before he took his leave to go and meet the new Pope, Francis, who was already at work and, without a secretary, was opening correspondence himself. Listen: RealAudioMP3

Msgr. Xuereb describes the indefatigable work-ethic of Pope Francis, who, he says, remains a man of profound prayerfulness that is integrated into his daily life. “In Pope Francis,” he says, “I see the missionary who is calling the crowd, the great mass of people who perhaps feel lost, to himself: with the intent of bringing them to the heart of the Gospel.”

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