Pope Francis on Tuesday penned a letter addressed to fellow Jesuit, Fr. Sabino Maffeo, who celebrated his 100th birthday. Father Sabino was the former Technical Director of Vatican Radio, the Vatican News website said.
Centenarian Jesuit Priest
According to the report, the pontiff sent the letter upon learning that Father Maffeo would be celebrating his centenary.
"The good news has reached me that on November 1, the Solemnity of All Saints, you will be 100 years old," Pope Francis said in his letter.
Francis likewise recalled that on the day of his birthday some 85 years back, Father Maffeo entered the Society of Jesus or simply "the Jesuits."
Its website said that Ignatius of Loyola founded the Roman Catholic order. The website noted that St. Ignatius was a former soldier who became a mystic.
'A Faithful Instrument of God'
Francis said in his letter that Father Maffeo's life as a Jesuit follows St. Ignatius' word.
The pope explained that people who know Father Maffeo can attest to him living a life as "a faithful instrument in the hands of God, with great joy, charity, and spirit of service."
The pontiff also said he feels great joy in participating in the Jesuit priest's centenary celebration. Francis, 85, also expressed his gratitude to God for calling Father Maffeo "to the wonderful adventure of life, which will never end, and to the vocation of being a companion of Jesus, to love and serve in everything."
Father Maffeo's Life Devoted to Service
Francis said that throughout his life as a Jesuit priest, Father Maffeo had dedicated his energy to tasks that come with a huge amount of responsibility.
The pontiff revealed that Father Maffeo was the Provincial of the Roman Province of the Society of Jesus from 1968 to 1973. He then held a Vatican Radio post as its Technical Director from 1973 to 1985.
After his stint there, the centenarian priest reportedly worked at Castel Gandolfo (also known as the papal palace) as assistant to the Director and archivist-historian from 1985 to 2017.
Father Maffeo, whose current address is the Jesuit-run St. Peter Canisius Residence, is tasked with 'praying for the Church and the Society.' The residence functions as an infirmary for Jesuits who are sick or aging, the Vatican News article bared.
In his letter, Pope Francis called on Father Maffeo to pray for him, saying he has complete faith in the power of prayer. The pope explained that St. Augustine sees prayer as "the power of man and the weakness of God."
"With cordial joy, I join in your thanksgiving for the great things the Almighty has done for you in this centenary of your life," Francis told Father Maffeo in his letter.
The report said that the pontiff ended his letter by asking God to bless the Jesuit priest with the help of Mary, Mother of the Church.