Missionary Prayer Intention
The Pope’s missionary prayer intention for January 2006: “For migrants: may they be recognised as persons created in the image and likeness of God and welcomed with respect and charity ”. Comment by Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations and International Organisations in Geneva
Geneva (Fides Service) - Today more than 200 million people in the world live and work in a country which is not the one in which they were born. This is a sign of the times and a phenomenon which transforms whole countries. Migrants were remembered by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI at the midday Angelus prayer on Sunday June 5 on the occasion of the first centenary of the death of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905) described by John Paul II "the father of migrants: “May they always meet friendly and welcoming faces to help them overcome their daily difficulties”. With these words the Pope summarised the traditional love for migrants shown by the Church’s saints such as Mother Francesca Saverio Cabrini, John Neuman, Scalabrini, and indicated the path for the future: offering a warm welcome.
The Gospel says that welcome was characteristic of Jesus’ manner of relating to others: he welcomes the crowds, teaches them about the Kingdom of God and heals those who are sick (Lk 9,11); he even welcomes sinners and shares a meal with them (Lk 15.1-2); he is present in welcome assuring his disciples : «he who welcomes you welcomes me and the One who sent me» (Mt 10, 40). Listening to the Master’s teaching Maestro, St Paul the apostle recommends the first Christian communities to: «welcome one another as Christ welcomed you » (Rom 15,7). Therefore Christian welcoming is without limits or prejudice of race, skin colour of culture indeed it is a test for the Last Judgement. Blessed and saved are those who welcome because in every person in need there is hidden the Son of God: «I was hungry and you gave me to eat, thirsty and you gave me to drink, a stranger and you welcomed me» (Mt 25,35).
A person open to the message of the Gospel can never be indifferent to an encounter with another person. Love, which must be the uniform of every Christian, demands an attitude of positive openness expressed successively in behaviour of active service of the stranger who leaves his land in search of a new land and a better future for himself and his loved ones. Fair policies and laws, worthy structures, transparent procedures, openness to constructive coexistence become visible expression of love which extends to sharing of values and goods and build communion in appreciation for diversity in reciprocal and harmonious exchange which embraces rights and duties for all and respects the dignity and freedom of every human person.
There is no place therefore for territorial or social segregation, chosen or imposed, as the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church teaches in particular in documents concerning migrants such as Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi. A warm welcome opens the way for integration and makes migration, often marked by unjust economic unbalance and painful uprooting, a resource for the development of the country of origin and arrival. Hence welcome is a dimension of love of neighbour and therefore becomes genuine «Christian witness». It is more than simple acceptance of cultural diversity because it seals willingness to build together a future of peace and mutual enrichment, taking as a basis biblical revelation with regard to the unity of the human family emerging from universal brotherhood marked by the shared «image and likeness» of the Creator (Gen 1,26-27).
However welcome is not only a Christian duty and a context for economic success and good social-political integration. To a certain extent it helps us see migration as an important opportunity for reflection, religious dialogue and mission. Migrants in fact, shaken by the profound changes which their experience involves, are faced with new roles, new mentalities, solitude and have to ask themselves once again about the meaning of life and what answer can come from religion. It is now clear that the missions are here with us in the new peoples who come from afar and present a challenge for explicit proclamation of the Gospel message, the highest act of charity we can exercise in their regard. Finally, Catholic migrants, often a consistent part of new migratory waves, can be witnesses of Christian life in the hosting environment. Here then we have migration as a new pulpit for the mission of the Christian community and a “warm welcome” is the initial keystone to overcoming inevitable difficulties and broadening the dimensions of charity. (Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, c.s.) (Agenzia Fides 15/12/2005; righe 49, parole 712)
Missionary Prayer Intention
- 2012-05-31 MISSIONARY INTENTION - "That Christians in Europe may rediscover their true identity and participate with greater enthusiasm in the proclamation of the and participate with more enthusiasm in Gospel" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for June 2012
- 2012-04-27 "That Mary, Queen of the World and Star of Evangelization, may accompany all missionaries in proclaiming her Son Jesus" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for May 2012
- 2012-03-30 MISSIONARY INTENTION-"That the risen Christ may be a sign of certain hope for the men and women of the African continent" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for April 2012
- 2012-01-30 "That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and the elderly in the world’s poorest regions" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for February 2012
- 2012-01-13 VATICAN-The Holy Father’s intentions for prayer, entrusted to the Apostleship of Prayer for the year 2013
- 2011-12-29 "That the dedication of christians to peace may bear witness to the name of Christ before all menand women of good will" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for January 2012
- 2011-11-30 "That children and young people may be messengers of the Gospel and that they may be respected and preserved from all violence and exploitation" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for December 2011
- 2011-10-31 "That the African continent may find strength in Christ to pursue justice and reconciliation as set fourth by the second Synod of African Bishops" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for November 2011
- 2011-09-30 "So that the celebration of World Mission Day may increase in the People of God the passion for evangelism and support to the missionary activity through prayer and economic aid to the poorest Churches" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for October 2011
- 2011-09-01 "So that the Christian communities scattered in Asia fervently proclaim the Gospel, witnessing the beauty with the joy of faith" - Comment on the Missionary Intention for September 2011