Holy Father Pope Francis has written the preface to a new book by Reverend Enzo Petrolino, a deacon from the diocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova in Italy, contains various announcements of Pope Francis on the vocation to the diaconate which he says is primarily realized in the service of the poor. The book brings together the Pope’s statement about the permanent diaconate from his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires with his most recent ones as Bishop of Rome.

In the book entitled “The Diaconate in the thought of Pope Francis: A Poor Church for the Poor”, His Holiness Pope Francis remarks : “The Church finds in the permanent diaconate the expression  and at the same time the impulse to become itself a visible sign of the diaconia of Christ the Servant of God in the history of mankind.” Further, Holy Father writes, “The sensitivity to the formation of a diaconal conscience can be considered the basic motive that must permeate Christian communities.”

“Diakonia” is a Greek term in the Gospels which refers to the exercise of charity towards the poor. His Holiness Pope Francis recalls the moment when he was elected in the conclave and His Eminence Cardinal Claudio Hummes turned to him saying: “Do not forget the poor.” It was then that in his heart he heard the name Saint Francis of Assisi, who tradition tells us was a deacon.