10-January-2014 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Pope: Christ's Birth Calls Us to To Bear Witness to the Humility of Service

Pontiff Meets With Papal Ushers at Vatican Apostolic Palace

VATICAN CITY, January 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The "Sediari Pontifici", or Papal Ushers, following the most ancient collegial tradition in the Vatican since the fourteenth century, were received in audience by the Pope in the Consistory Hall this morning.

The chair-bearers or ushers had the honor of carrying the Pope on an elevated chair during liturgical celebrations. They currently serve in the pontifical apartment, welcoming the Pope's visitors, and are present at the general audiences in St. Peter's Square and on all occasions when the Pope meets the faithful.

In his address, Pope Francis recalled the Christmas liturgical season. The birth of Christ, he said, "calls us to bear witness in our lives to the humility, simplicity and spirit of service that He has taught us."

"In your daily work too, you have the opportunity to emulate these characteristics of the Son of God, Who 'did not come to be served, but to serve'. Experienced with this interior attitude, work can be transformed into apostolate, a valuable opportunity for communicating the joy of being Christians to all you encounter."

The Pope emphasized that during these months he has become aware of the ideals that inspire the work of the ushers: "love for the Church and for the Holy See, welcoming cordiality, patience, calmness and serenity of bearing, which constitute a fine 'calling card' presented to those who visit the Apostolic Palace to meet Peter's Successor."

Concluding his address, Pope Francis thanked the ushers for their work saying that he was indebted to them. "I offer you my warmest wishes for peace; I guarantee my prayers for you, and count on yours on my behalf," he said.

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