Fifty years ago on 13 December 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a Jesuit priest in Argentina.
His vocation dates back to 21 September 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector converted by Jesus: it was during a confession that day, that the future Pope had a profound experience of God’s mercy.
Vatican News reports that the Divine Mercy has characterized his entire priestly life. Pope Francis speaks of priests as quietly leaving everything to engage in the daily life of communities, giving others their own lives, moved, like Jesus, when he sees people exhausted and “like sheep without a shepherd”.
Addressing parish priests in Rome on 6 March 2014, the Pope said: “In the image of the Good Shepherd, the priest is a man of mercy and compassion, close to his people and a servant to all… Whoever is wounded in life, in whatever way, can find in him attention and a sympathetic ear….Wounds need to be treated… We priests must be there, close to these people. Mercy first means treating the wounds”.
Via Vatican News