From Asia News Italy:
The Pope told pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square: “In the message, I recalled the experience of the first apostles of Jesus who, after getting to know him at the lakeside and in the villages of Galilee, were conquered by his appeal and his love. The Christian vocation is always the renewal of this personal friendship with Jesus Christ, which gives full sense to one’s existence and makes it available for the Kingdom of God. The Church lives off such friendship, fed by the Word and the Sacraments, a sacred reality entrusted in a particular way to the ministry of Bishops, Presbyterians and Deacons, consecrated by sacrament of ordination. This is why – as I reiterated in the same message – the mission of priesthood is irreplaceable, and although in some places there is a shortage of clergy, there should be no doubt that God continues to call young people and adults to leave everything to dedicate themselves to preaching the Gospel and to pastoral ministry”.
The Pontiff also recalled “another special form of following Christ” that is “vocation to consecrated life, expressed in a poor, chaste and obedient existence completely dedicated to God, in contemplation and prayer, and at the service of one’s brothers, especially the meek and the poor”. He also emphasized that Christian marriage is a vocation in the full sense of the word, and that “the example of holy parents is the first condition that favours the flourishing of priestly and religious vocations.”
Before reciting the Easter prayer to Our Lady, the Pope called on all the faithful to invoke the “intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, for all priests and religious; let us pray so that the seeds of vocation that God sows in the hearts of the faithful may reach maturity and bear fruits of holiness in the Church and the world.”