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St Pedro de Betancur

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'Priests must be holy and educators of holiness'

 Yesterday the Holy Father received superiors and students from the diocesan seminary of Rome, 'Almo Collegio Capranica,' in preparation for the feast of its patroness, St Agnes, on January 21. The Pope told the students that "the lesson that we can learn from St Agnes is heroic constancy in the faith 'usque ad effusionem sanguinis'. This young martyr invites us to persevere with fidelity in our mission, even to the point of sacrificing our life if necessary. It calls for an interior disposition that must be fed daily with prayer and a serious ascetic program." "Priests," he continued, "called to be enlightened guides and coherent examples of Christian life for the People of God, cannot fall short of the faith that the Lord and His Church place in them. They must be holy and they must be educators of holiness with their teaching, but even more with their witness. This is the 'martyrdom' to which God calls them, a martyrdom which, even though it does involve violent bloodshed, always requires that bloodless but 'heroic constancy in the faith' which characterizes the existence of the true disciples of Christ." Source: Vatican Information Service