Pope Francis has told senior officials to seek out pastors and not princes when recommending candidates for him to appoint as bishops.

He also told the Holy See's diplomats who serve overseas not to try to aspire to live calm and easy lives instead of acting for the glory of God.

Pope Francis made his comments in the Vatican to most of the one hundred or so clerics who double as his representatives to local Catholic churches throughout the world and as ambassadors to states.

According to the Vatican Information Service the Pontiff highlighted the search for new bishops.

Pope Francis said the Nuncios should "be attentive that the priests proposed are pastors who are close to the people as well as gentle, patient, and merciful."

He said they should also love poverty which frees them to serve God, living a simple and austere life. He warned that the nominees for promotion should not have what he called "a prince's psychology", or be promotion-seekers.

Concluding his job-description for the new bishops he'll appoint, the Pope said that, above all, they must be capable of "keeping an eye on" the flock that will be entrusted to them and of caring for everything that keeps it united.

He said they must be able to foster hope and there must be "sun and light in their hearts" enabling them to "sustain with love and patience the plans that God has for his people."