Holy Father Pope Francis welcomed and received the participants in the General Chapter of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance –the Trappists- which is taking place in Assisi from the 6th to 27th September. His Holiness exhorted the participants to stay courageous witness to permanent truths and appreciated the Order of Cistercians for preserving themselves in fidelity to the sequela Christi, having as its purpose the glory of God and the good of the people.

As reported by news.va, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “Throughout its history, your Order has known times of grace and moments of difficulties; but it has always preserved in fidelity to the sequela Christi.” Further, His Holiness added, “Continuing in the way of spiritual tradition, may you read the present state of the Order in its shadows and lights and in the novelty of the Spirit, identify with courage new possibilities and occasions to witness your charism in the present of the Church and of Society.”

All Cistercian monasteries are dedicated to Mother Mary and the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother is the Order’s patronal feast. The OCSO General Chapter is the supreme authority in the order and there are formally two chapters: one for monks and one for nuns, dedicating their lives to the search for union with God through Jesus Christ.