Holy Father Pope Francis met the members of Franciscan Family and received the members of First Order and of the Third Order Regulars in the audience in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican. While addressing the Franciscans, His Holiness Pope Francis emphasized the Order’s proper name, the Order of Friars Minor, in which he conveyed that the word minor is an essential aspect of their religious life and so that they are not simply religious brothers but “minor brothers.”

As reported by news.va, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “Open your hearts and the embrace the lepers of our times! And, after recognizing the mercy the Lord has used in your regard, extend that mercy to them, as Saint Francis did; and like him, learn to be sick with the sick; afflicted with the afflicted.” Further, His Holiness added, “In this way, Franciscan littleness will not remain some vague sentiment, but will have profound effect on their lives.”

His Holiness concluded his remarks by reminding that Franciscan littleness is a place of encounter with all of the creation and asked the Franciscan to enter into a dialogue with all of the creation, both praising God for His creation and having a particular care about it.