Experience the Extraordinary Missionary Month in Lourdes!

At the approach of the centenary of Maximum illud, the apostolic letter by which Pope Benedict XV wanted to give a new impetus to missionary work in the aftermath of the First World War, it was Pope Francis’ wish that, for October 2019, there should be an extraordinary Missionary Month on the theme, “Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”. In Lourdes, proposals are being made to answer the call of the Holy Father.

Experience the Extraordinary Missionary Month in Lourdes!

Extraordinary Missionary Month in Lourdes

Since the 1st. October, banners bearing the colours of the Missionary Month have been proudly flapping in the wind at the Saint Michael and Saint Joseph gates in the Sanctuary.
Prayer cards are distributed at the end of international masses.
An exhibition, developed by the Pontifical Mission Societies and delivered by the Sanctuary of Lourdes, is installed in the lounge of the hotel La Solitude.
Throughout the month, special intentions for missions will be presented at the international Masses and the torchlight processions.

The prayer card distributed in Lourdes

Heavenly Father,
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.
Amen

Becoming a missionary

“We become missionaries by living as witnesses: bearing witness by our lives that we have come to know Jesus. Can we, who have discovered that we are children of the heavenly Father, keep silent about the joy of being loved, the certainty of being ever precious in God’s eyes? That is a message that so many people are waiting to hear. And it is our responsibility. Let us ask ourselves this month: how good a witness am I?” (Pope Francis, 1st October 2019)

The message of Pope Francis

 Baptised and Sent – Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month

Pope Francis proclaimed an Extraordinary Missionary Month and commissioned the Pontifical Mission Societies to coordinate actions in each country. A logo has been created by them for this purpose.

This logo represents a cross whose colours recall the five continents. The Cross welcomes the world, connects people, and puts people in communication with each other and with the universal Church.

Red recalls the blood of the American martyrs, seeds for a new life in the Christian faith. It is the colour of the passion of missionaries who, having arrived in a new country, set about seeking the Salvation of the people.

Green is the colour of life, nature, vegetation. It symbolises growth, fertility, youth and vitality. The African continent is called to this congruence even in the midst of the desert and suffering.

White is the symbol of joy, the beginning of a new life in Christ. This is the challenge that the old Europe is facing, to regain the evangelising strength from which it was generated thanks to its large number of churches and saints.

Yellow is the colour of light, which is nourished with light by invoking the true Light. Asia is the continent where Jesus was born, the Son of God, our Sun, rising from on high.

Blue is the colour of Oceania. It’s the colour that comes closest to the invisible. It is the colour of our sky, the sign of the dwelling place of God among men.

The world is transparent, because our action of evangelisation knows neither barriers nor borders: it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Christian charity and the world transfigured in the Spirit transcend distances and open the eyes of our minds and hearts. It is the love of Jesus who knows neither limits nor borders.

The words Baptised and Sent refer to the two characteristic and inalienable elements of every Christian: baptism and proclamation.

The cross is the instrument and the efficacious sign of the communion between God and humanity for the universality of our mission.