Despite suffering from a slight cold that postponed four appointments today, Pope Francis celebrated the episcopal ordination of Bishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, a member of the Legionaries of Christ.
Bishop Vérgez was appointed Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City State on August 30th.
This is the second episcopal ordination that the Holy Father has presided over in St. Peter’s Basilica.
In his homily, Pope Francis reminded Bishop Vérgez of his duties not only as Secretary General but as a shepherd to those who work with him.
“In a special way, you have been entrusted with the spiritual health of the employees of the Vatican, but you are also a father and brother for them, with great tenderness; always follow the example of the Good Shepherd,” the Holy Father said.
The Holy Father also expressed his gratitude, recalling Bishop Vérgez’s time as secretary of the late Argentinian Cardinal Eduardo Francisco Pironio, a friend of then Cardinal Bergoglio.
“I think of that great service of tenderness and charity that you have given to Cardinal Pironio. I am sure that he is among us in this moment and unites with us in the Church. I thank you once again for the humble and silent service, the service of a son and a brother,” the Pope said.
Pope Francis also said that his thoughts go to the Benedictine nuns who were following the episcopal ordination. “You are well accompanied,” the Holy Father said to Bishop Vérgez.
Born in Salamanca, Fernando Vérgez was ordained a priest in 1969 and served later on in the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. In 1984, he served in the Pontifical Council for the Laity before heading the Telecommunications Office for Vatican City State.
Bishop Vérgez was also named titular bishop of Villamanga di Proconsolare on October 15th, 2013.