Pope: Consecrated men and women have special role in Church’s mission
By Lisa Zengarini
As the Church marks the 27th World Day for Consecrated Life on Thursday, Pope Francis has encouraged world’s religious men and women to go forward in their “prophetic mission” with the richness of their charisms.
The annual observance was instituted in 1997 by Pope Saint John Paul II, and is celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2 February. The theme chosen this year is: "Brothers and Sisters for the mission".
In Rome, the Day was marked by a Eucharistic celebration presided on Thursday evening in St. Mary Major Basilica by the Prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, who read out a message by Pope Francis addressed to consecrated men and women.
Consecrated persons' special gift
In the message the Pope, who is currently visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, remarke that, among the People of God sent to bring the Gospel to all men, consecrated persons have “a special role”, which derives from the particular gift they have received of being “entirely dedicated to God and to his Kingdom, in poverty, virginity and obedience”.
“While in the Church everyone is a mission, each and every one of you” is even more so “as a consecrated person”, he noted. noted.
A wonderful variety of charisms
Pope Francis further highlighted that their mission is enriched by the charisms of their respective institutes and societies. “In their wonderful variety, they are all given for the edification of the Church and for her mission”, he said.
Pope Francis concluded the message by invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin so that the life of consecrated persons may always “be a feast of the encounter with Christ”, and thus, like her, be able to bring the light of her love and of God to everyone.
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