Cardinal-designate Edoardo Menichelli is 75, but he still kicks a soccer ball around with other priests and seminarians.
Portugal's newest cardinal-designate is known as a humble man of faith and culture.
After Pope Francis became pope, Cardinal-designate Francesco Montenegro was standing next to him "and I could feel his heart beating as he repeated, 'What suffering.'"
Cardinal-designate Dominique Mamberti said the honor binds him even more closely to the pope and the church of Rome.
Cardinal-designate Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi, 76, sees Francis' decision to induct him into the College of Cardinals as a reflection of the warming relations between the Vatican and the communist state of Vietnam.
German Cardinal-designate Karl-Josef Rauber said he would be more than content to continue his daily duties in the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.
Pope Benedict was keenly aware of his own waning strength while faced with such a demanding ministry, Archbishop Georg Ganswein told an Italian newspaper.
The pope began a meeting with some 150 cardinals to discuss reform of the Vatican bureaucracy by calling on them to speak boldly and to keep in mind the "salvation of souls."
The cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the church's central bureaucracy have yet to create a single comprehensive draft of a new structure of governance.
One month after saying Catholics may have an obligation to limit their number of children, Francis has said families that choose not to have kids are selfish.