He recommended that seminarians contemplate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s attitude at the Annunciation and ask: “How was she when God called her? And how was I? With what zeal do I consider my future priestly life? Will I rise up … with love, to bring God to the world? Will I take him up the most arduous and painful of mountains?”
Pope Francis added that the fifth joyful mystery of the rosary, the finding of Jesus in the temple, contains a particular lesson that should never be forgotten.
Throughout life, we must always return to look for Jesus in the tabernacle, he said, encouraging the future priests to “lose yourselves there with Him.”
In the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary, a priest is reminded that he “must aspire to a crown of thorns,” to be identified with the Lord in his suffering, the pope said.
“There is the sacrifice of assuming one's own cross and beginning a path, often of abandonment. It is the sacrifice of life. Looking at the cross we raise our eyes to heaven and see our destiny,” Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis spoke to seminarians from Barcelona at the Vatican on Dec. 10, 2022. Vatican Media
For a priest, the glorious mysteries are found in the Mass in thanksgiving for the Passion of Jesus, he explained.
“After the triumph of the resurrection, Jesus entered the sanctuary of heaven and from there he perpetuates this continuous thanksgiving. Seeing him seated at the right hand of the Father calls us to hope and fills us with joy because he assures us of heaven,” he said.
“For this God sends the Holy Spirit, the only one who can teach us these mysteries, and one day he will give you the gift of being priests of Christ. Never cease to savor and remember this love of predilection that is poured and will be poured abundantly into your heart, at your ordination, and for the rest of your days.”
“Never extinguish this fire that will make you fearless preachers of the Gospel, dispensers of divine gifts. Unite your flesh to that of Jesus, like Mary, to immolate yourselves with him in the Eucharistic sacrifice, and also in the glory of his triumph," Pope Francis said.