VATICAN - Pope Francis: may the People of God participate "actively" in Mission Day 2023

Sunday, 22 October 2023 mission   evangelization   world mission day   pope francis  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - An invitation addressed to the people of God for everyone to participate "actively" in World Mission Day 2023, celebrated as every year on the penultimate Sunday of October. The appeal was made by Pope Francis today, Sunday, October 22, after the Angelus prayer recited from the window of the Apostolic Palace. "Today", the Bishop of Rome recalled, addressing the multitude gathered in St. Peter's Square, "we celebrate World Mission Sunday, which has the theme: “Hearts on fire, feet on the move”. Two images that say everything! I urge everyone, in the dioceses and in the parishes, to participate actively", added the Pontiff.

In the morning, before praying the Angelus, and on the occasion of Missionary Sunday, Pope Francis wanted to meet the students who reside in the Pontifical Urban College at Santa Marta Residence (see photo). The Pope greeted the students one by one, who then sang a song and prayed together with the Pontiff, who at the end of the meeting gave his blessing to those present.

After praying the Angelus, and before referring to World Mission Day, Pope Francis once again expressed his pain for the atrocities and violence that bloody the Holy Land: "I pray and I am close to all those who are suffering: the hostages, the wounded, the victims and their relatives", said the Pope. "I am saddened" added the Bishop of Rome, referring to the bombings on Gaza "that the Anglican hospital and the Greek-Orthodox parish have also been hit in recent days. I renew my appeal for spaces to be opened, for humanitarian aid to continue to arrive, and for the hostages to be freed". The Pontiff recalled that he has called for this Friday, October 27, a day of fasting, prayer and penance, and that evening "at 6:00 p.m, in Saint Peter’s Square we will spend an hour in prayer to implore peace in the world". War, "any war that there is in the world – I also think of tormented Ukraineevery war" repeated the Successor of Peter "is a defeat. War is always a defeat; it is a destruction of human fraternity. Brothers, stop! Stop!" concluded the Pontiff. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 22/10/2023)