The papal appeal came two days before “Pro Orantibus” Day, for cloistered women religious, which will be observed Friday, the liturgical memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple. The Holy Father made his appeal today in Paul VI Hall at the end of the general audience.
He expressed his “special closeness and that of the whole ecclesial community to these sisters of ours, whom the Lord has called to the contemplative life.”
“At the same time I renew the invitation to all believers so that cloistered convents will not be lacking the necessary spiritual and material support,” he told the pilgrims gathered in the auditorium.
Trying to speak more forcefully, the Holy Father concluded: “We are very indebted to these persons who are totally consecrated to incessant prayer for the Church and the world!”
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Secretariat of Assistance to Nuns, promoted by the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. There are 3,600 cloistered convents for women religious in the world.