LETTER OF POPE FRANCIS
TO THOSE WHO WILL BE CREATED CARDINALS
AT THE UPCOMING CONSISTORY OF 22 FEBRUARY
On this the day on which your designation to take part in the College of Cardinals is made public, I would like to send you my warm greeting as well as the assurance of my closeness and of my prayer. I hope that, as a member of the Church of Rome, “clothed in the virtue and sentiments of the Lord Jesus (cf. Rom 13:14), you may help me with fraternal efficacy in my service to the Universal Church.
The Cardinalate does not signify a promotion, an honour nor a decoration: it is simply a service that demands a broader vision and a bigger heart. And, although it seems a paradox, this ability to look further and love more universally with greater intensity can be acquired only by following the way of the Lord: the way of lowliness and of humility, taking the form of a servant (cf. Phil 2:5-8). Therefore, I ask you, please, to receive this appointment with a simple and humble heart. And, while you ought to do this with gladness and joy, do so in a way that this sentiment is far from any kind of expression of worldliness, from any celebration alien to the evangelical spirit of austerity, moderation and poverty.
We will see each other, then, on 20 February, when we will begin two days of reflection on the family. I am at your service and, please I ask you to pray, and ask for your prayers for me.
May Jesus bless you and may the Holy Virgin protect you.
From the Vatican, 12 January 2014
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