In a divided and fragmented world, I want to invite all believers, and also all people of good will, to reconciliation and fraternity. Our faith leads us to spread the values of peace and mutual understanding, of the common good. We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote together peace and justice in the world.
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – “Pauline Jaricot, a French lay woman, now Venerable, who in 1822 founded the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, conceived and placed prayer at the beginning of the missionary activity. She gathered people to pray for the missions and, some years later, she created the ‘living Rosary’, a network that still exists today. These are groups of twenty people who, each month after a Eucharist, are given a Mystery of the Rosary to pray for. Each of them has a different Mystery, so all twenty mysteries will be recited in that month, thanks to the spiritual union of the group members. Today we want to emphasize that the prayer of the Rosary is still fundamental for the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith, which supports and finances many concrete projects of an ecclesial and missionary nature in the world. As Pope Francis remarked, the first missionary activity is prayer”: this is what Fr. Tadeusz J. Nowak, of the Oblates of Maria Immaculate (OMI), Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of the Propagation of the Faith (POPF) said, who spoke at the presentation of “ClickTo Pray eRosary”, launched on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019.
“ClickTo Pray eRosary” is a digital bracelet that activates by making the sign of the cross. It is an interactive, intelligent device, which works through a downloadable application at no cost, presented by the Pope’s World Prayer Network. The App is called Click To Pray, and “is aimed primarily at young people, hoping to teach how to pray the Rosary”. (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2019)
INTERVIEW: Cardinal Filoni: ‘It’s Necessary to Rediscover Affection & Love for One’s Faith’
Prefect of Vatican’s Propaganda Fide Tells ZENIT What Makes This Missionary Month ‘Extraordinary’
OCTOBER 21, 2019 15:55DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVINTERVIEW, INTERVIEWS
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, often simply called ‘Propaganda Fide’, has told ZENIT what makes this Missionary Month ‘extraordinary.’
Pope on World Mission Day: ‘Go and Make Disciples of All Nations’
In the interview, he discusses how each year, the Catholic Church celebrates Missionary Month in October, but this year, Francis called for it to be an “extraordinary one,” which is welcoming various events to commemorate it, including the Mass Pope Francis celebrated yesterday morning, on World Mission Sunday, in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Italian prelate also underscores how it is necessary to rediscover love and affection for one’s faith, and how people around the world can partake in this month’s events. Moreover, he underscores, “If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops!”
Here is our interview:
ZENIT: Cardinal Filoni, what makes this October 2019 Missionary Month, as Pope Francis requested, “Extraordinary?”
Cardinal Filoni: First of all, there is the ordinariness of the fact that every year, the month of October is Missionary Month. The ‘extraordinary’ nature of the one of October 2019 is due to the fact that we wish to focus our reflection on a specific point, in a special way: the awareness that as Baptized–enjoying and living the very reality of Baptism, that is to say, grace–, we also become ‘sent.’
It means we cannot be selfish, we cannot shut ourselves up [be quiet and silent]! We want to make people reflect on this because we want to get out of the mentality that has always considered mission as something to be delegated to others, to people “who are a bit more generous,” to people “who have a special vocation,” to people who like to set off” and go into distant, different countries, and so on.
Angelus Address: On World Mission Day
ZENIT: And instead how should mission be conceived?
Cardinal Filoni: We want to show that perhaps this missionary idea, once did require a special vocation, but that today, everyone travels! Everyone moves for reasons of pleasure, vacation… or work or business… or to learn about and meet different cultures. It almost therefore seems that faith remains almost extraneous to all this great human mobility, when instead it should be in the first place! We are not allowed to not think about the role and the mission that we all have to bear witness to the faith. We must bring faith to others.
ZENIT: And how can we witness faith?
Cardinal Filoni: Pope Francis tells us this very clearly: we need to witness what we believe and what we love, which is part of our life, and at the same time, to announce it. This is what Saint Peter said (1 Pt 3:15): “to explain the hope you have in you.” And therefore, this is the announcement. Having this awareness takes us out of that idea of delegating mission to others, to take it instead as our mission, as an integral, essential part of our moral, spiritual life, our life of faith.
ZENIT: And people around the world, how can they take part in this month from their homes?
Cardinal Filoni: Let us first say: we can take part in many ways. An elderly or sick person can bring the contribution of the reality they live. I think of the chain of prayer, the Living Rosary conceived by the Venerable Pauline Jaricot [the founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith] in France, almost 200 years old, to pray for missions. At that time traveling, crossing oceans was a difficult experience, if not almost impossible for many people. But Jaricot said that we too can participate in the mission of the Church with this prayer, which unites us, in presenting our own prayer to God.
ZENIT: Is prayer the only way to participate in the Extraordinary Missionary Month?
Cardinal Filoni: Even Pauline Jaricot, at that time, said: is prayer not enough? Then we have those writing off on their tax returns, “here, this is the contribution I make for the needs of the missions.” But in addition to all this, we must be protagonists of the mission and not only delegate the mission to others. It is necessary to rediscover affection and love for one’s faith. And this can be done in many ways.
ZENIT: What do you mean by love for one’s faith?
Cardinal Filoni: If there is no love for one’s faith, everything stops! But when I love my faith, then I become creative. Creativity is needed for mission, even with regard to the tools, the meetings, the vision ..Mission is no longer directed only to distant countries, but it is something that takes place between us. And it’s nice that so many people who have arrived in these last decades for example, in Italy, when they received the tool to learn and live a living faith, if you will, then they themselves asked for Baptism.
ZENIT: Do you know anyone of them? Do you think of anyone in particular?
Cardinal Filoni: Recently, I met a young man from Morocco. When we introduced ourselves, he told me a Muslim name and a Christian name. Then he added: “I am a Christian.” “Oh yes? And what made you decide to become a Christian?,” I asked him. He replied: “[It was] thanks to the testimony I was given here, the way I was received.”
Angelus Address: On World Mission Day
‘All Jesus’ Disciples Are Called to Be Witnesses of the Gospel in This, Our Time’
OCTOBER 20, 2019 15:18VIRGINIA FORRESTERANGELUS/REGINA CAELI
Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
The second reading of today’s liturgy proposes to us the exhortation that the Apostle Paul addresses to his faithful collaborator Timothy: “Preach the Word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). The tone is heartfelt: Timothy must feel himself responsible to preach the Word, assuming an all-out commitment, which doesn’t exclude any existential ambit. These sentiments of Saint Paul should be those of all Jesus’ disciples, called to be witnesses of the Gospel in this, our time, in this humanity at times contradictory but loved infinitely by God.
The World Mission Day, which is observed today, is a propitious occasion for every baptized person to have a deeper awareness of the need to cooperate in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God through a renewed commitment. To give new impetus to the missionary responsibility of the whole Church, Pope Benedict XV, a hundred years ago, promulgated the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. He perceived the need to upgrade evangelically the mission in the world so that it would be purified from all colonial incrustation and free from the conditionings of the expansionist policies of the European Nations.
In today’s changing context, Benedict XV’s message is again timely and stimulates us to overcome the temptation to every self-referential closure and every form of pastoral pessimism, to open ourselves to the joyful novelty of the Gospel. In this time of ours, marked by a globalization that should be solidary and respectful of the particularity of peoples, and instead suffers again from the homologation and from old conflicts of power, which fuel wars and ruin the planet, believers are called to take everywhere, with new impetus, the Good News that in Jesus mercy overcomes sin, hope overcomes fear, fraternity overcomes hostility. Christ is our peace and in Him, every division is surmounted; in Him alone is the salvation of every man and every people.
There is an indispensable condition to live the mission in fullness: prayer, a fervent and incessant prayer, in keeping with Jesus’ teaching proclaimed also in today’s Gospel, in which He tells a parable “on the need to pray always and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is the first support of the People of God for the missionaries, rich in affection and gratitude for their difficult task to proclaim and give the light and the grace of the Gospel to those that have yet to receive it. It is also a good occasion today to ask ourselves: do I pray for the missionaries? Do I pray for those that go far away to take the Word of God with their witness? Let us think about it.
May Mary, Mother of all peoples, accompany and protect every day the missionaries of the Gospel.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian] [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Crema was the martyr Father Alfredo Cremonesi, missionary priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. Killed in Burma in 1953, he was an indefatigable apostle of peace and zealous witness of the Gospel, to the shedding of his blood. May his example drive us to be workers of fraternity and courageous missionaries in every environment; may his intercession support all those that toil today to sow the Gospel in the world. Let us applaud Blessed Alfredo!
And now a warm welcome goes to all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from various countries. In particular, I greet and bless affectionately the Peruvian community of Rome, gathered here with the venerated image of the Senor de los Milagros [Lord of the Miracles] — keep always the faith and traditions of your people! –; the Sisters Nurses of the Addolorata who held their General Chapter; the participants in the march “We Remain Human,” who in the last months have gone through cities and territories of Italy, to promote a constructive confrontation on the subjects of inclusion and hospitality. Thank you for this beautiful initiative!
A special thought goes to the youngsters of Catholic Action, who have come with their educators from all the Italian dioceses, on the occasion of the 50 years of ACR. Dear boys and girls, you are protagonists in evangelization, especially among your contemporaries. The Church has confidence in you; go forward with joy and generosity!
I wish you all a happy Sunday. Please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye.
Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18
OCTOBER 20, 2019 15:42ROY LAGARDEMISSIONS
Catholics are called to go on mission, together, and truly be Church, a top churchman said.
Leading the Mission Month celebration in Manila on Oct. 18, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said that mission is not a “do it yourself” task but one that is communal.
“Mission is not just for few individuals but for all of us, even the children and the poor are part of the mission,” Tagle said.
“Mission is in community. Mission is ecclesial, the Church,” he said. “Let us encourage every baptized person… you are sent by Christ and by the Church.”
Thousands of people turned out for the event organized by the Manila archdiocese in coordination with the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Philippines.
Every October, the universal Church celebrates mission month. This year, Pope Francis declared October 2019 Extraordinary Mission Month to revitalize and renew the missionary call in a particular way.
The celebration is also to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter on mission, Maximum Illud.
The Manila gathering featured musical performances, testimonies, and was capped with a Mass, attended by dozens of bishops, priests and the religious.
Also present were Papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Caccia and Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao and the head of the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.
In his homily, the cardinal stressed that by virtue of their baptism, all Catholics are called to be missionaries.
“Every baptized person, living the life of Christ, by sharing in his death and resurrection, is also sent on mission,” Tagle said.
But to be missionaries, he stressed the importance of having a “personal encounter with Jesus”.
Such a thing, according to him, is a requirement for growth in baptism and mission.
“No mission, no proclamation of the Gospel without an encounter with Jesus who is the Gospel,” he said.
The cardinal added that mission is also fundamentally “witnessing to Christ”, which means “bearing the Cross, especially the cross of helplessness”.
He also said that charity is central to the Church’s mission, and Catholics are called to share it with the world, especially those in need.