Pope Francis is said to have also ordered an inspection of the Congregation for the Clergy ahead of the transition to its new leadership, Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik.
Last year, Villardita was made a Cavalier of the Italian Republic, an order of merit conferred on him by the Italian president for his actions as an “everyday hero.”
The men who met Pope Francis are inmates of a low-security prison, part of the Rebibbia complex located in Rome’s east suburb. The prison caters to those with addictive disorders and includes a treatment center and program for inmates with substance dependence.
The theme of this year’s World Day of the Poor is “The poor you will always have with you,” the words of Jesus recorded in Mark 14:7 after a woman anointed him with precious ointment.
Pope Francis said he liked to imagine seminaries as a kind of Holy Family of Nazareth, the place in which Jesus was “welcomed, guarded and formed in view of the mission entrusted to him by the Father.”
According to a statement by the Hungarian Bishops’ Conference, the Holy Father will meet with Hungary’s president and prime minister ahead of his planned appearance at the International Eucharistic Congress.
The pope’s live-streamed address, dedicated to “Perseverance in love,” was the 37th meditation in his cycle of catechesis on prayer, which he launched in May and resumed in October following nine addresses on healing the world after the pandemic.
Pope Francis encouraged the young priests to not be afraid to dream of a Church entirely at the service of its members and the world, stating that each of them has a contribution to make.