During the meeting – which was very brotherly and friendly – the Holy Father first reiterated the urgent and indispensable commitment of all the Friars Minor to bring to the world the mercy of God, bearing witness to the Gospel always and, if necessary, also with words. He also highlighted the grace of being Friars Minor, which should be expressed in the simple and fraternal way of life through caring for and sharing with everyone, especially the poor and marginalized.
What the Pope pointed out is in full harmony with the journey the Order has been doing in preparation for the next General Chapter, which will be held in Assisi in May-June 2015, entitled, Fratres et Minores our Aetate, "Brothers and Minors in Our Times".
Through witty expressions and jokes, Pope Francis ended by prodding every brother to offer to today’s youth, who are thirsty for meaning as was Francis of Assisi, the real motives and true values of life.
Among those participating in the private audience from the English Speaking Conference were the General Minister Br. Michael Perry, OFM (a member of the Sacred Heart Province), the General Secretary Br. Aidan McGrath, OFM (Province of Ireland), and Definitor for the ESC Br. Francis Walter, OFM (Immaculate Conception Province, USA).