Dear brothers and sisters,

In this special year, you are gathered in Lyon, a city where the Pontifical Mission Societies originated and where the beatification of Pauline Jaricot, the founder of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, will be held. It will be its bicentenary, as well as the centenary of its elevation, together with the Society of the Holy Childhood and the Society of Saint Peter the Apostle, to the rank of “Pontifical”. These were later joined, again recognized by Pius XII, by the Pontifical Missionary Union, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Blessed Paolo Manna.

This anniversary is part of the celebration of four hundred years of the Congregation De Propaganda Fide, to which the Pontifical Mission Societies are closely linked and with which they collaborate in supporting the Churches in territories entrusted to the Dicastery. It was instituted to support and coordinate the spread of the Gospel in lands hitherto unknown. But the evangelizing impetus has never diminished in the Church, and it always remains her fundamental dynamism. That is why I wanted the Dicastery for Evangelization to take on a special role also in the renewed Roman Curia, in order to foster the missionary conversion of the Church (Praedicate Evangelium, 2-3), which is not proselytism, but witness: going out of oneself to proclaim with one’s life the gratuitous and salvific love of God for us, all called to be brothers and sisters.

So you have come to Lyon because it was there, two hundred years ago, that a young 23-year-old woman, Pauline Marie Jaricot, had the courage to found a society to support the missionary activity of the Church; a few years later she started the “Living Rosary”, an organization dedicated to prayer and the sharing of offerings. From a wealthy family, she died in poverty: with her beatification, the Church testifies that she knew how to accumulate treasures in Heaven (cf. Mt 6:19), treasures that are born from the courage of giving and reveal the secret of life: only by giving it is it possessed, only by losing it is it found (cf. Mk 8:35).

Pauline Jaricot liked to say that the Church is missionary by nature (cf. Ad gentes, 2), and that every baptized person therefore has a mission; rather, he or she is a mission. Helping to live this awareness is the first service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, a service they fulfil with the Pope and in the name of the Pope. This link of the PMS with the Petrine ministry, established one hundred years ago, translates into practical service to the bishops, to the particular Churches, and to all the People of God. At the same time, it is your task, according to the Council (cf. Ad gentes, 38) to help the bishops to open every particular Church to the horizon of the universal Church.

The jubilees that celebrate the beatification of Pauline Jaricot offer me the opportunity to offer to you again three elements that, thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit, have greatly contributed to the spread of the Gospel in the history of the PMS.

First of all, missionary conversion: the goodness of the mission depends on the path of going out of oneself, on the desire to centre one’s life not on oneself, but on Jesus, on Jesus who came to serve and not to be served (cf. Mk 10: 45). In this sense, Pauline Jaricot saw her existence as a response to God’s compassionate and tender mercy: since her youth she had sought identification with her Lord, also through the sufferings she went through, with the aim of igniting the flame of her love in every person. Here lies the wellspring of mission: in the ardour of a faith that does not settle for less and that, through conversion, becomes imitation day by day, to channel God’s mercies on the roads of the world.

But this is possible – second element – only through prayer, which is the first form of mission (cf. Message to the Pontifical Mission Societies, 20 May 2020). It is no coincidence that Pauline placed the Work of the Propagation of the Faith alongside the Living Rosary, as if to reiterate that mission begins with prayer and cannot be accomplished without it (cf. Acts 13:1-3). Yes, because it is the Spirit of the Lord that precedes and enables all our good works: the primacy is always of His grace. Otherwise, the mission would be a question of running in vain.

Finally, the concreteness of charity: along with the prayer network, Pauline gave rise to a collection on a vast scale and in a creative form, accompanying it with information on the life and activities of the missionaries. The offerings of so many people were providential for the history of the missions.

Dear brothers and sisters who make up the General Assembly of the PMS, I hope that you will walk in the footsteps of this great missionary woman, letting yourselves be inspired by her practical faith, her bold courage, and her creative generosity. By the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, I invoke the Lord’s blessing on each one of you and I ask you, please, to pray for me.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 12 May 2022


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With 9 days to go before her beatification, the Pontifical Mission Societies offer you this novena to get to know her and ask the Lord for the grace of a true interior conversion.


The life of Blessed Pauline Jaricot is an illustration of the most radical and beautiful aspects of faith.

Following in the footsteps of her patron saint, Paul of Tarsus, Pauline underwent an interior conversion at the age of 17 in the church of Saint-Nizier. Her conversion is a complete renewal of her being that will set her on the road to a total configuration to the Lord. She lived all that Christ asked her to live with passion and love until the long martyrdom of her last years, which she accepted with joy for love of Him alone.

To revive our baptismal vocation and reawaken our commitment to the Mission in our country and to the ends of the earth, the worldwide network of the Pontifical Mission Societies proposes to follow Pauline Jaricot, a lay woman and entrepreneur of the 19th century, a creative and missionary figure of the universal Church!

Why this novena?

Pauline Jaricot, servant of the Missions, is beatified on May 22!

Nine days before her beatification, we propose this novena to get to know her and to ask the Lord for the grace of a true interior conversion. It is also an opportunity to entrust our sick relatives to obtain from her prayer a second miracle that will allow her to be canonised.

Each day you will receive:

¤ A biographical element of Blessed Pauline Jaricot

¤ An extract from her writings

¤ A challenge to enter into her spirituality

Novena programme

Day 1 – Birth and youth

Day 2 – Conversion

Day 3 – Consecration to God

Day 4 – The work of the Propagation of the Faith

Day 5 – Announcing Christ

Day 6 – The Living Rosary

Day 7 – Martyrdom

Day 8 – The Holy Curé of Ars

Day 9 – The Eucharist

Who is Pauline Jaricot?

I was made to love and act. My cloister is the world.

Biography of Pauline Jaricot

Pauline Jaricot was born in Lyon on 22 July 1799.

Her life took place in the heart of Lyon, between the parishes of Saint-Nizier and Saint-Polycarpe, then at the foot of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

She had a happy childhood, imbued with the affection and strong faith of her family. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Communion allowed her to be intimate with the Lord from a very early age.

As a teenager, she led an active worldly life. It was then that a sermon on vanity shook her up and brought about a real interior conversion…


Prayer from the novena

Our Father….

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

thy kingdom come,

thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us this day, our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And let us not enter into temptation, but deliver us from evil.


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At work, with your family, with your friends, when you meet someone by chance… Any moment is suitable for being a missionary disciple. “If Christ moves you, if you do things because Christ is guiding you,” your testimony of life will make others ask, “What is the source of the love with which this person treats everyone—the kindness and good humor?” In this way, far from any form of proselytism, we can all be available for the mission, which is based, as Francis says, on an encounter between people, on the testimony of life of men and women.

“Jesus asks us all, and you as well, to be missionary disciples. Are you ready?

It’s enough to be available to answer His call and to live united to the Lord in the most common daily things—work, meeting other people, our daily duties, the chance events of each day—allowing ourselves to be guided always by the Holy Spirit.

If Christ moves you, if you do things because Christ is guiding you, others will notice it easily.

And your testimony of life will inspire admiration, and admiration inspires others to ask themselves, “How is it possible for this person to be this way?” or “What is the source of the love with which this person treats everyone—the kindness and good humor?”

Let us remember that the mission is not proselytism; the mission is based on an encounter between people, on the testimony of men and women who say, “I know Jesus, and I’d like you to know Him too.” Brothers and sisters, let us pray that every baptized person may be engaged in evangelization, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavor of the Gospel.

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Friendship is one of the great gifts that life gives us. Being able to count on friends, during good times as well as bad, is a gift from God. Wouldn’t it be stupendous if we could “go beyond (our) groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well,” as Francis tells us? We need to seek friends instead of enemies, understanding each other instead of fighting—in the Pope’s words, “leaving polarization behind.” Let us extend a hand and listen to others so we can work together for the common good. Share this message of Francis with your friends, and also—why not?—with people who aren’t friends yet. “The Bible says that whoever finds a friend has found a treasure. I would like to invite everyone to go beyond their groups of friends and build social friendship, which is so necessary for living together well. We especially need to have a renewed encounter with the most impoverished and vulnerable, those on the peripheries. And we need to distance ourselves from populisms that exploit the anguish of the people without providing solutions, proposing a mystique that solves nothing. We must flee from social enmity which only destroys, and leave “polarization” behind. And this isn’t always easy, especially today when part of our politics, society and media are bent on creating enemies so as to defeat them in a game of power. Dialogue is the path to seeing reality in a new way, so we can live with passion the challenges we face in constructing the common good. Let us pray that, in social, economic, and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship, men and women who always hold out a helping hand, and may no spaces of enmity and war remain.”


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“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem” (Mt 20:18)
Lent: a Time for Renewing Faith, Hope and Love


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Jesus revealed to his disciples the deepest meaning of his mission when he told them of his passion, death and resurrection, in fulfilment of the Father’s will. He then called the disciples to share in this mission for the salvation of the world.

In our Lenten journey towards Easter, let us remember the One who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8). During this season of conversion, let us renew our faith, draw from the “living water” of hope, and receive with open hearts the love of God, who makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. At the Easter vigil, we will renew our baptismal promises and experience rebirth as new men and women by the working of the Holy Spirit. This Lenten journey, like the entire pilgrimage of the Christian life, is even now illumined by the light of the resurrection, which inspires the thoughts, attitudes and decisions of the followers of Christ.

Fasting, prayer and almsgiving, as preached by Jesus (cf. Mt 6:1-18), enable and express our conversion. The path of poverty and self-denial (fasting), concern and loving care for the poor (almsgiving), and childlike dialogue with the Father (prayer) make it possible for us to live lives of sincere faith, living hope and effective charity.

1. Faith calls us to accept the truth and testify to it before God and all our brothers and sisters.

In this Lenten season, accepting and living the truth revealed in Christ means, first of all, opening our hearts to God’s word, which the Church passes on from generation to generation. This truth is not an abstract concept reserved for a chosen intelligent few. Instead, it is a message that all of us can receive and understand thanks to the wisdom of a heart open to the grandeur of God, who loves us even before we are aware of it. Christ himself is this truth. By taking on our humanity, even to its very limits, he has made himself the way – demanding, yet open to all – that leads to the fullness of life.

Fasting, experienced as a form of self-denial, helps those who undertake it in simplicity of heart to rediscover God’s gift and to recognize that, created in his image and likeness, we find our fulfilment in him. In embracing the experience of poverty, those who fast make themselves poor with the poor and accumulate the treasure of a love both received and shared. In this way, fasting helps us to love God and our neighbour, inasmuch as love, as Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches, is a movement outwards that focuses our attention on others and considers them as one with ourselves (cf. Fratelli Tutti93).

Lent is a time for believing, for welcoming God into our lives and allowing him to “make his dwelling” among us (cf. Jn 14:23). Fasting involves being freed from all that weighs us down – like consumerism or an excess of information, whether true or false – in order to open the doors of our hearts to the One who comes to us, poor in all things, yet “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14): the Son of God our Saviour.

2. Hope as “living water” enabling us to continue our journey.

The Samaritan woman at the well, whom Jesus asks for a drink, does not understand what he means when he says that he can offer her “living water” (Jn 4:10). Naturally, she thinks that he is referring to material water, but Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit whom he will give in abundance through the paschal mystery, bestowing a hope that does not disappoint. Jesus had already spoken of this hope when, in telling of his passion and death, he said that he would “be raised on the third day” (Mt 20:19). Jesus was speaking of the future opened up by the Father’s mercy. Hoping with him and because of him means believing that history does not end with our mistakes, our violence and injustice, or the sin that crucifies Love. It means receiving from his open heart the Father’s forgiveness.

In these times of trouble, when everything seems fragile and uncertain, it may appear challenging to speak of hope. Yet Lent is precisely the season of hope, when we turn back to God who patiently continues to care for his creation which we have often mistreated (cf. Laudato Si’, 32-33; 43-44). Saint Paul urges us to place our hope in reconciliation: “Be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). By receiving forgiveness in the sacrament that lies at the heart of our process of conversion, we in turn can spread forgiveness to others. Having received forgiveness ourselves, we can offer it through our willingness to enter into attentive dialogue with others and to give comfort to those experiencing sorrow and pain. God’s forgiveness, offered also through our words and actions, enables us to experience an Easter of fraternity.

In Lent, may we be increasingly concerned with “speaking words of comfort, strength, consolation and encouragement, and not words that demean, sadden, anger or show scorn” (Fratelli Tutti, 223). In order to give hope to others, it is sometimes enough simply to be kind, to be “willing to set everything else aside in order to show interest, to give the gift of a smile, to speak a word of encouragement, to listen amid general indifference” (ibid., 224).

Through recollection and silent prayer, hope is given to us as inspiration and interior light, illuminating the challenges and choices we face in our mission. Hence the need to pray (cf. Mt 6:6) and, in secret, to encounter the Father of tender love.

To experience Lent in hope entails growing in the realization that, in Jesus Christ, we are witnesses of new times, in which God is “making all things new” (cf. Rev 21:1-6). It means receiving the hope of Christ, who gave his life on the cross and was raised by God on the third day, and always being “prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls [us] to account for the hope that is in [us]” (1 Pet 3:15).

3. Love, following in the footsteps of Christ, in concern and compassion for all, is the highest expression of our faith and hope.

Love rejoices in seeing others grow. Hence it suffers when others are anguished, lonely, sick, homeless, despised or in need. Love is a leap of the heart; it brings us out of ourselves and creates bonds of sharing and communion.

“‘Social love’ makes it possible to advance towards a civilization of love, to which all of us can feel called. With its impulse to universality, love is capable of building a new world. No mere sentiment, it is the best means of discovering effective paths of development for everyone” (Fratelli Tutti, 183).

Love is a gift that gives meaning to our lives. It enables us to view those in need as members of our own family, as friends, brothers or sisters. A small amount, if given with love, never ends, but becomes a source of life and happiness. Such was the case with the jar of meal and jug of oil of the widow of Zarephath, who offered a cake of bread to the prophet Elijah (cf. 1 Kings 17:7-16); it was also the case with the loaves blessed, broken and given by Jesus to the disciples to distribute to the crowd (cf. Mk 6:30-44). Such is the case too with our almsgiving, whether small or large, when offered with joy and simplicity.

To experience Lent with love means caring for those who suffer or feel abandoned and fearful because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these days of deep uncertainty about the future, let us keep in mind the Lord’s word to his Servant, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you” (Is 43:1). In our charity, may we speak words of reassurance and help others to realize that God loves them as sons and daughters.

“Only a gaze transformed by charity can enable the dignity of others to be recognized and, as a consequence, the poor to be acknowledged and valued in their dignity, respected in their identity and culture, and thus truly integrated into society” (Fratelli Tutti, 187).

Dear brothers and sisters, every moment of our lives is a time for believing, hoping and loving. The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us – as communities and as individuals – to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father.

May Mary, Mother of the Saviour, ever faithful at the foot of the cross and in the heart of the Church, sustain us with her loving presence. May the blessing of the risen Lord accompany all of us on our journey towards the light of Easter.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 11 November 2020, the Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours



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Today, there continue to be women who suffer violence. Psychological violence, verbal violence, physical violence, sexual violence. It’s shocking how many women are beaten, insulted, and raped. The various forms of ill-treatment that many women suffer are acts of cowardice and a degradation of all humanity. Of men and of all humanity. The testimonies of the victims who dare to break their silence are a cry for help that we cannot ignore. We must not look the other away. Let us pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded by all.


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How is your friendship with Jesus? Do you find in prayer a daily space to speak with Him? In these complicated months that we are living, perhaps sometimes you forget to pray, but remember: nobody will listen to you better than He will. With prayer, you enter into dialogue with God, who is Father. Pope Francis says that “if we do not pray, we will not have the strength to go forward in life. Prayer is like the oxygen of life.” During this Advent, share the words of the Holy Father with your friends and remind them that it’s necessary to pray for the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church, because “we can do many things, but without prayer, it doesn’t work.”

“The heart of the Church’s mission is prayer.

Prayer is the key for us to be able to enter into dialogue with the Father.

Every time we read a short passage from the Gospel we hear Jesus speaking to us. We have a conversation with Jesus. We listen to Jesus and we reply. And this is prayer.

By praying, we change reality. And we change our hearts. Our heart changes when we pray.

We can do many things,but without prayer, it does not work. We pray that that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.”

Each month, The Pope Video disseminates the Holy Father’s prayer intentions regarding the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church.

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We are squeezing out the planet’s goods. Squeezing them out, as if the earth were an orange.
Countries and businesses from the global north have enriched themselves by exploiting the natural resources of the south, creating an “ecological debt.” Who is going to pay this debt?
In addition, this “ecological debt” is increased when multinationals do abroad what they would never be allowed to do in their own countries. It’s outrageous.
Today, not tomorrow; today, we have to take care of Creation responsibly.
Let us pray that the planet’s resources will not be plundered, but shared in a just and respectful manner.
No to plundering; yes to sharing.

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