Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Yesterday, Thursday January 6, solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis at the Angelus thanked the children and young people of the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood (POSI) for their commitment. These are his words: "Epiphany in a special way is the feast of the Holy Child Missionaries, that is, of those children and boys and girls – there are many in various countries of the world – who dedicate themselves to pray and to donate their savings so that the Gospel might be proclaimed to those who do not know it. I want to say to them: “Thank you, boys and girls: thank you!” and I would like to recall that mission begins with the daily witness of Christian life.
Regarding this, I encourage the initiatives of evangelization that stem from the traditions of Epiphany and which, due to the current situation, use various means of communication. I recall in particular the “Three Kings Procession” that takes place in Poland".
The Pontifical Society of Holy Childhood or Missionary Childhood (POSI), one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, was founded in 1843 by Mgr. De Fordin Janson, Bishop of Nancy, to educate children in the missionary spirit, involving them in the needs of their peers in the mission countries, and to sensitize them to the offer of prayers and material aid. Today POSI is present in more than 130 countries on all continents, and continues to pursue, with different methods, its founding objective: to promote and support the missionary sensitivity of children and pre-adolescents through training courses, by educating them to offering prayers and small financial contributions for their peers in difficulty.
In his message for World Mission Day 2022, published yesterday, Pope Francis recalls that the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, together with the Society of the Holy Childhood and the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, obtained the recognition of "Pontifical" 100 years ago. He then quotes "the French Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson, who started the Society of the Holy Childhood to promote the mission among children with the motto 'Children evangelize children, children pray for children, children help children all over the world'," hoping that "the local Churches can find in these Societies a solid tool to nourish the missionary spirit in the People of God". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 7/1/2022)