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Pope makes fatherly exhortation to Myanmar bishops: Take care of your health

MYANMAR,POPE FRANCIS

Osservatore Romano | AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/29/17

The Holy Father asked the bishops to "show paternal concern" for those priests who work in the heat

Pope Francis this evening concluded a busy day in Myanmar by meeting with the 22 Catholic bishops of the country, greeting each one personally and talking to them about the need to work for healing in the nation.

His last exhortation to them bore a particularly fatherly character.

“I know that your ministry is demanding and that, together with your priests, you often labour under the heat and the burden of the day,” he said, in reference to a verse from Matthew’s Gospel, but also reflective of the weather conditions in Myanmar.

“I urge you to maintain a balance between your spiritual and physical health, and to show paternal concern for the health of your priests,” he said.

Myanmar has two seasons – dry and wet – with the dry season running from October through May, and the wet season from May/June through early October. At the peak of the wet season some regions become inaccessible and the heat is marked by high humidity.

The pope also encouraged the bishops above all “to grow daily in prayer and in the experience of God’s reconciling love, for that is the basis of your priestly identity, the guarantee of the soundness of your preaching, and the source of the pastoral charity by which you guide God’s people on the path of holiness and truth.”

He finished with his traditional request that they pray for him.

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