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Pope, at audience, offers another saint as model of priesthood

June 30, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI returned to the theme of the priesthood in his regular weekly audience on June 30, speaking about St. Joseph Cafasso, a 19th-century Italian priest. The Pope cited him as the model of “a good shepherd, understanding and compassionate."

Pope Benedict has been devoting his Wednesday audiences to a long series of talks on the influence of major figures in the development of Catholic thought. He interrupted that series as the Year for Priest came to a close, with several talks on the priesthood. Then he resumed the longer series, with three talks on St. Thomas Aquinas.

Now the Pope returned to the priesthood, recalling the life of St. Joseph Cafasso and especially his devotion to hearing confessions and providing spiritual direction. He also served as a prison chaplain, and in 1950 Pope Pius XII declared him the patron of Italian priests serving in that capacity.

Before concluding his Wednesday audience, the Pope offered special greetings to the archbishops who had received the pallium the previous day, and remained in Rome for the papal audience.


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