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'Don't gossip', Pope Francis tells hairdressers
Hairdressers, hairstylists and beauticians have been warned about "giving in to the temptation of gossip" during a meeting with the pope.
The Catholic leader met with industry representatives at the Vatican on Monday - the feast day of the patron saint for barbers.
Francis drew upon the life of the "humble and great figure" of St Martin de Porres when he encouraged them to practice their profession "in a Christian style".
The pontiff said: "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."
Francis explained how the 17th century Peruvian saint modelled humility, love and self-sacrifice in serving the poor and sick, through what he learned working with a pharmacy and a barber-surgeon.
St Martin de Porress, who died in 1639, was declared a saint by Pope John XXIII in 1962. He was proclaimed patron saint of barbers in 1966 by Pope Paul VI.
He is also the patron saint of mixed race people, innkeepers, and public health workers.
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