Pope Francis announced the creation of 21 new cardinals, including Father Luis Pascual Dri, a 96-year-old Capuchin friar whose testimony as a confessor has impacted the Pontiff.

After finishing the Angelus prayer on July 9, the Pontiff announced that a consistory will be held on Sept. 30 for the creation of 21 new cardinals, 18 with the right to vote and three over 80 years of age.

Andrea Tornielli, Director of the Vatican's Editorial Department of the Dicastery for Communication, pointed out that Pope Francis recalled Father Dri's testimony as a confessor on several occasions.

“I remember a great confessor, a Capuchin priest, who exercised his ministry in Buenos Aires. Once he came to meet me, he wanted to talk.

"He told me: 'I ask you for help, I always have so many people in front of the confessional, people of all kinds, humble and less humble, but also many priests... I forgive a lot and sometimes I have a scruple, the scruple of having forgiven too much.'

"We talked about mercy, and I asked him what he did when he felt that scruple.

"He answered me like this: 'I go to our little chapel, in front of the tabernacle and I say to Jesus: 'Lord, forgive me, because I have forgiven too much. But it was you who gave me the bad example.'

"This I will never forget. When a priest lives mercy with himself like this, he can give it to others."

"No one should leave thinking that they have not been understood"

Father Dri, who is a priest of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii in Buenos Aires, Argentina, told Vatican News in an interview how he met Pope Francis and gave a great testimony of forgiveness and mercy.

“I am, I won't say scrupulous, but I am a little worried about confessions. When he was a cardinal here in Buenos Aires, I trusted him a lot. I talked to him and once I confided all of this to him.

"He told me: '"Forgive, forgive, we must forgive."

"And I: Yes, I forgive, but then I am left with a certain restlessness and for this reason, afterwards I go to Jesus and tell him that it was He who taught me, that he set a bad example for me, because He has forgiven everything. He has never rejected anyone. It is evident that these words struck Bergoglio, they remained imprinted on him."

“More than once he has advised some priests, due to a problem, to come talk to me. I have listened to them and now we are great friends, some of them come often, we talk, and they get along very well spiritually, pastorally.

"I must thank the Pope very much for this confidence that he has placed in me, because I do not deserve it. I am not a person, a priest, a friar who has studied, I do not have a doctorate, I have nothing.

"But life has taught me a lot-- life has marked me. And since I was born very poor, I feel that I must always have a word of mercy, of help, of closeness for whoever comes here. No one should leave thinking that they have not been understood or despised or rejected."

The Capuchin friar said he spends every morning and afternoon in the confessional, and encouraged the priests to be welcoming, so that each confession is a moment to bring the faithful closer to God.

"We must not be, starting with myself, officials who limit themselves to doing something: 'Yes, I have given him acquittal.' 'Yes, no, and that's it.' Quite the opposite.

"I believe that we must have a certain closeness, a special kindness, because sometimes there are people who do not know very well what confession is.

"'Don't be scared, don't worry.'"

"The confession... all we need is the desire to be better, nothing more. You don't have to think with whom, or how many times, or that or that. All those things don't help. I feel like that pushes the person away. And I must make people come closer to God--to Jesus."

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