Pope Francis continued the “Fridays of Mercy” with surprise visits to two communities dedicated to priests.
At 16:00 he arrived at the “Mount Tabor” community, where eight priests from different dioceses are in residence, sent there by their respective bishops for various problems. They live together under the guidance of a permanent deacon Ermes Luparia, who was a colonel in the Air Force before turning to the study of psychology. For many years he has dedicated himself to this recovery service in the spirit of the Salvatorian Fathers. The Holy Father’s visit continued with an emotional encounter between the priests and him in the community’s small chapel, where they talked to him about their hopes and difficulties.
At the end of this encounter, the Holy Father decided to go to the home for priests in the Diocese of Rome commonly known as the “Cento Preti”, or “One Hundred Priests”, but officially named the “House of Saint Gaetano”. At about 18:00, the Holy Father entered the doors of this community and embraced the twenty-one elderly priests there, some of whom are very ill. The “director” of the House is Father Antonio Antonelli, who was a parish priest for many years. The priests in this residence, mostly diocesan priests, along with a few religious priests, have given their lives for the Church, and now they find themselves alone.