The Pope has had a cut at hairdressers for indulging in gossip while coiffing their customers’ locks.
The pontiff made his comments during a meeting with representatives of the association of hairdressers, hairstylists and beauticians of Italy.
He told the 230 members of the Saint Martin de Porres Committee, who were celebrating the feast of their patron, that the saint was a “humble and great figure” who helped their professions “bear constant witness to Christian values.”
Martino De Porres who hailed from Lima, was a 16th-century barber-surgeon whose miracles include levitation, being in two places at once, instant cures, and an ability to communicate with animals.
God searches for you, even if you don’t search for Him. God loves you, even if you have forgotten Him. God looks for beauty in you, even if you think you have uselessly squandered all your talents.— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 29, 2019
The Pope told the gathering: “He encourages you, above all to practice your profession in a Christian style, treating customers with kindness and courtesy, and always offering them a good word and encouragement, avoiding giving in to the temptation of gossip that easily creeps into your work environment, that we all know about.”
He also pointed out that each one of them, in their “typical professional work, can always act with righteousness, thus making a positive contribution to the common good of society”.
If we open our hearts to mercy and we seal forgiveness with a fraternal embrace, we proclaim before the world that it is possible to overcome evil with good. #DivineMercy— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2019
Meanwhile, A bust of Pope Clement XIV by one of Ireland's greatest sculptors is to go to auction in New York.
The bust by Christopher Hewetson, one of the most celebrated 18th century sculptors, will be offered for sale on May 1 by Christie's auctioneers. The work is estimated to fetch up to $180,000 at auction.
Hewetson was born in Co Kilkenny in 1739 and worked in Dublin until he moved to Rome in his twenties, where he remained until his death in 1798. In Rome, he became a sought-after portraitist and in 1781 was commissioned to make a portrait in marble of Pope Clement XIV.
Pope Clement XIV was a well-known collector of antiquities - and had founded the Museo Pio Clementino in 1771 originally to display antique and renaissance sculpture.
Hewetson, with his deep knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman busts, combined with a talent for humanising his sitters, was an appealing choice for the pope.
The bust became his most celebrated commission.
It was so famous that Hewetson sculpted at least five other marble versions as well as one plaster one.
The first documented bust is dated 1771 and the final piece is dated 1782, eight years after Pope Clement XIV had died.
The version due to be auctioned appears to be unrecorded and is - besides the Gorhambury version - the only bust outside of a museum collection.
Additional reporting - Aoife Moore