Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for World Missionary Day
On World Mission Sunday, October 22, 2017, Pope Francis publicly announced to the whole Church declaring an Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019 (EMM OCT 2019) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud – That Momentous. Pope Francis has set October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month (EMM) to foster greater awareness of “missio ad gentes” (mission to all peoples) and to animate the missionary transformation of Church life and pastoral activity. World Mission Sunday (WMS) will be celebrated in this EMM on October 20. Click on the picture for Pope Francis message.
“This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving. As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love.” – Pope Francis, 9 June 2019, for WORLD MISSION DAY 2019.
Message of the Extraodinary Missionary Month October 2019 in Video.
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Pope Francis’ Logo, Theme, and Prayer
For the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 is a missionary cross where the primary colors refer to the five continents. The Cross is the instrument and direct sign of communion between God and man for the universality of our mission, and through its vibrant colors, a sign of victory and resurrection. The world is transparent because the action of evangelization has no barriers or boundaries, it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Christian charity and the world transfigured in the Spirit overcome distances and open the horizon of our minds and hearts. The words Baptized and Sent next to the image indicate the two characteristics of every Christian: baptism and proclamation.
The Colors of the Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The primary colors of the Cross are referred to the five continents: red for America, green for Africa, white for Europe, yellow for Asia and blue for Oceania. The red recalls the blood of the American martyrs, seeds for a new life in the Christian faith. Green is the color of life and symbolizes growth, fruitfulness, youth and vitality. It is also the color of hope, one of the three theological virtues. White is the symbol of joy, the beginning of a new life in Christ: this is the challenge that the old Europe is facing, so that it may be able to regain the evangelizing strength from which it was generated thanks to so many churches and saints. Yellow is the color of light, which nourishes itself with light by invoking the true Light. Blue is the color symbolizing the water of life that quenches our thirst and restores us along the path to God. It is the color of heaven, a sign of God’s dwelling with us.
The Theme of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
“Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Awakening the awareness of the missio ad gentes (mission to the People, To All Nations), and reinvigorating the sense of responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes that combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, published 100 years ago, with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church.” (EG 15)
Prayer proposed by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ
rose from the dead,
he commissioned his followers
to “go and make disciples of all nations”
and you remind us that through our Baptism
we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.
Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit
to be courageous and zealous
in bearing witness to the Gospel,
so that the mission entrusted to the Church,
which is still very far from completion,
may find new and efficacious expressions
that bring life and light to the world.
Help us make it possible for all peoples
to experience the saving love
and mercy of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever.
How to Live the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
There are four dimensions, specified by Pope Francis, to live more intensely the journey of preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019:
- A personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in His Church through the Eucharist, the Word of God, personal and communal prayer;
- Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs and confessors of the faith, as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world;
- Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological;
- Missionary charity.
The World Mission Rosary
“The Rosary is a prayer that always accompanies me; it is also the prayer of the ordinary people and the saints…it is a prayer from my heart.”
– Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.
In February of 1951, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966), in a radio address (The Catholic Hour), inaugurated a World Mission Rosary. “We must pray, and not for ourselves, but for the world. To this end, I have designed the World Mission Rosary. Each of the five decades is of a different color to represent the continents.”
Praying this Rosary, Archbishop Sheen said, would “aid the Holy Father and His Society for the Propagation of the Faith by supplying Him with practical support, as well as prayers, for the poor mission territories of the world.”
When is World Mission Day?
World Mission Day for 2019 is on Sunday 20th October, a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church’s missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice. Annually, World Mission Sunday is celebrated on the next-to-last Sunday in October. As described by Pope Saint John Paul II, World Mission Sunday is “an important day in the life of the Church because it teaches how to give: as an offering made to God, in the Eucharist celebration and for all missions of the world” (see Redemptoris Missio,81).
Pope Francis issued his message for World Mission Day titled: “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”, inviting “the whole church [to] revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV.”
What do the colors signify?
Each decade of the World Mission Rosary calls to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelizing mission: GREEN for the forests and grasslands of AFRICA: BLUE for the ocean surrounding the ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC; WHITE symbolising EUROPE, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; RED calling to mind the fire of faith that brought many missionaries to the AMERICAS; and YELLOW, the morning light of the EAST, for ASIA.
Further Resources in celebrating the Mission Rosary
We provide you a rosary brochure with information and prayers, and mysteries with missionary reflections that will help children of all ages learn more about the World Mission Rosary. Please download the Rosary brochure here, or click on the image to view and download in pdf.
In this video we bring you two New Zealanders doing incredible work teaching at a school in Ranong, Thailand: Fr. Frank Bird SM and Katie Fisher. Let us also remember today, in prayer, people carrying out missionary work in our schools in New Zealand every day.