Pope celebrates Mass for Vatican gardeners, janitors

Pope celebrates Mass for Vatican gardeners, janitors

Pope Francis sits in the back of the Chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae before celebrating Mass with the Vatican gardeners and janitors March 22, 2013. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Mar 22, 2013 / 04:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis celebrated a small Mass for the Vatican’s janitors and gardeners on the morning of March 22 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel.

Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano described the Mass as “a simple celebration to which the Pope invited employees of the garden and cleaning services of the Governorate of Vatican City State.”

The Pontiff’s short homily commented on the daily readings, explaining that we “stone” Jesus in our weak and vulnerable brothers and sisters when we have hearts of stone, according to the publication.

The Vatican newspaper reported that sisters from three religious communities were also present at the Mass – the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple.

Throughout the early days of his papacy, the Holy Father has drawn attention for his gestures of humility and simplicity.

During his inaugural Mass, Pope Francis stopped his vehicle during the procession to bless and kiss a disabled man. The Vatican recently announced that the Pope has decided to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in a juvenile detention facility in Rome rather than at a basilica, where the Mass is usually held.

As archbishop of Argentina, he was known for his humility and deep affection for the poor, living in a simple apartment where he cooked his own meals, riding public transportation and spending time with the marginalized.

Other small acts since his election to the papacy have also attracted attention. Pope Francis made personal phone calls to both the head of the Jesuits in Rome and the owner of a newspaper kiosk back in Argentina, whom he informed that he would no longer need a paper delivered daily to his residence.

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