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World needs courageous Christian Missionaries, Pope says

Aug. 6, 2013

Pope Francis delivered a strong call to Christians to share the faith in his message for World Mission Day, saying that in today’s troubled world “it is necessary to proclaim courageously and in every situation, the Gospel of Christ.” “In this complex situation, where the horizon of the present and future seems threatened by menacing clouds, it is necessary to proclaim courageously and in every situation, the Gospel of Christ, a message of hope, reconciliation, communion, a proclamation of God's closeness, his mercy, his salvation, and a proclamation that the power of God’s love is able to overcome the darkness of evil and guide us on the path of goodness,” the Pope wrote in his message, released Aug. 6 by the Vatican.

The Pope began his first message for World Mission Sunday, which is celebrated on Oct. 20, by pointing out that the close of the Year of Faith will only be weeks away when the day dedicated to missionary efforts is celebrated.

The Holy Father observed that we “live in a time of crisis that touches various sectors of existence, not only the economy, finance, food security, or the environment, but also those involving the deeper meaning of life and the fundamental values that animate it.” At the same time, he clarified that the Church’s “missionary spirit is not about proselytizing, but the testimony of a life that illuminates the path, which brings hope and love.

Pope Francis used his final section to thank all those who have spent time as missionaries or dedicated their lives to spreading the Gospel. He also thanked those bishops and religious communities that have sent priests to areas that are poor in vocations and encouraged their continued generosity. Sending missionaries, he wrote, “is never a loss, but a gain.”

Before closing his message, Pope Francis remembered those “Christians who, in various parts of the world, experience difficulty in openly professing their faith and in enjoying the legal right to practice it in a worthy manner.” He finished his message by blessing “missionaries and all those who accompany and support this fundamental commitment of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to all the ends of the earth.”

Source: Catholic News Agency



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