Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Future Vatican diplomats encouraged to model themselves on saints

Pope Francis encouraged future Vatican diplomats to model themselves on the recently canonized St. Charles de Foucauld. The Pope urged students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy to see the 19th-century French soldier, explorer, priest, and mystic as a model of holiness for diplomatic life. He also proposed the 16th-century Jesuit St. Peter Faber as another model for priests called to represent the Holy See around the world. He made the recommendation during a June 8 visit to the college in Rome that prepares Catholic priests for the Vatican diplomatic service. The Holy See press office said on June 9 that “the Pope stressed the importance of rootedness in a priestly spirituality nourished by prayer.” He also highlighted “the role of the missionary year he wanted as an integral part of the path of preparation” to serve in the diplomatic corps. The Vatican announced in February 2020 that Pope Francis had called for priests in formation for the Holy See’s diplomatic service to spend a year in missionary work. He said it would be an opportunity for the priests to share “with the missionary churches a period of journey together with their community, participating in their daily evangelizing activity.” (https://www.ncregister.com/cna/pope-francis-to-future-vatican-diplomats-see-st-charles-de-foucauld-as-model) Charles de Foucauld, also known as Brother Charles of Jesus, served among the Tuareg people in the Sahara desert in Algeria. He was assassinated in 1916. Benedict XVI declared him a blessed in 2005 and Pope Francis canonized him on May 15.

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