In the Book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible, there’s a line that gives a great promise: “Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (2: 10). It was this passage to which today’s saint referred when he became a Capuchin Franciscan and changed his name from Mark to Fidelis, which is Latin for “faithful”. In 1622 the Pope created a special congregation in the Vatican to coordinate the Church’s missionary activities—the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which sent St. Fidelis to Switzerland. His goal, for which he ended up being martyred, was to reconcile with the Church those who had left Catholicism. Let us pray for our own faithfulness which will provide a good environment in which young people can hear the call to priesthood or consecrated life. The following is some advice that Pope Benedict gave to young people whom he encouraged to be open to such a vocation.
I think it is important to be attentive to the Lord’s gestures on our journey. He speaks to us through events, through people, through encounters: it is necessary to be attentive to all of this. Then, a second point, it is necessary to enter into real friendship with Jesus in a personal relationship with him and not to know who Jesus is only from others or from books, but to live an ever deeper personal relationship with Jesus, where we can begin to understand what he is asking of us.
And then, the awareness of what I am, of my possibilities: on the one hand, courage, and on the other, humility, trust and openness, with the help also of friends, of Church authority and also of priests, of family: what does the Lord want of me? Of course, this is always a great adventure, but life can be successful only if we have the courage to be adventurous, trusting that the Lord will never leave me alone, that the Lord will go with me and help me.