Madrid (Fides Service ) – “The Season of Advent which we are living brings already the unmistakable aroma of Christmas” Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela Archbishop of Madrid affirms at the beginning of a Christmas Letter to Spain’s many missionaries, a copy of which was sent to Fides Service.
After wishing the missionaries a Holy Christmas and New Year, the Cardinal reminds them that the next diocesan Synod intends to contribute to the work New Evangelisation to which Pope John Paul II calls all Christians. The Cardinals asks the missionaries to pray and participate through the diocesan Mission Council. “I pray to the Lord – the Cardinal concludes- that you may continue to diffuse the good aroma of Christ with your words and with your silent witness of unconditioned self giving. In this way we will carry on the work of evangelising the world which is beyond human strength, but we have the assistance of the Spirit and the protection of Mary whom the Pope invokes as Star of Evangelisation”.
Spain is the country with the most missionaries: according to the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain, there are about 21.000 Spanish missionaries working all over the world distributed by continent as follows: America 73.4%; Africa 14,6%; Europe 5.9%; Asia 5,8%; Oceania 0.14%. (R.G.) (Fides Service11/12/2003; lines 16; words 227)