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Pope tells Roman seminarians: thirst for sanctity

Catholic World News - January 20, 2012

“Priestly life requires an ever-increasing thirst for sanctity, a clear sensus Ecclesiae and an openness to fraternity without exclusion or bias,” Pope Benedict XVI said on January 20 at a meeting with seminarians from the Rome diocese.

The Pope held a private audience for 70 students and teachers from the diocesan seminary, which is celebrating its 555th anniversary. The Holy Father encouraged them to imitate the witness of St. Agnes, the patron saint of the seminary. The courage that allowed her to sacrifice her life for the faith, the Pope said, was nurtured “by her informed, free and mature choice of virginity, testimony of her desire to belong entirely to Christ.”

"Formation for the priesthood likewise requires integrity, maturity, asceticism, constancy and heroic fidelity in all aspects,” the Pope said. He urged the seminary students to cultivate an intense spiritual life, founded upon the liturgy and frequent use of the sacraments.

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