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Pope in Santa Marta: Missionaries are the glory of our Church

2016-05-10

During his Tuesday homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope highlighted the great value of the missionaries in the history of the Church. Pope Francis said they "burn up” their lives for Jesus, through the fire burning in their hearts.

The Pope recalled many missionaries who set out without knowing what awaited them, and therefore, died young.

POPE FRANCIS
"It’s right that we rejoice for having these missionaries who are true witnesses.  I’m wondering what the final moment on Earth was like for these people: how did they bid farewell?  Like Xavier: ‘I left everything but it was worth it!’  They passed away, nameless. They were martyrs who offered up their lives for the Gospel. These missionaries are our glory! The glory of our Church!”

Pope Francis concluded with a message for young people who are not comfortable with the culture of consumerism and narcissism. The Pope asked them to look at the example of missionary life.

EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"They went forward compelled by the Holy Spirit: a vocation! When we went to the cemeteries in those places, we see their tombs: so many of them died at an early age before they reached 40. The reason is because they were not used to and couldn’t recover from the diseases present in those places. They gave up their young lives: they had consumed their lives. I’m thinking of them in their last moment on earth, far from their homeland, their families and their loved ones, who said: ‘What I did was worth it!’”

"Our missionaries, these evangelization heroes of our times…Europe who filled up other continents with missionaries…And these people went there without ever returning home…I think it is only right that we give thanks to the Lord for their testimony. It’s right that we rejoice for having these missionaries who are true witnesses. I’m wondering what the final moment on Earth was like for these people: how did they bid farewell? Like Xavier: ‘I left everything but it was worth it!’ They passed away, nameless. They were martyrs who offered up their lives for the Gospel. These missionaries are our glory! The glory of our Church!”

"I would like to say to the young men and women of nowadays who don't feel at ease – (who say) ‘But I’m not that happy with this consumerist and narcissistic culture ….’ But look at the horizon! Look who’s there, look at our missionaries! Pray to the Holy Spirit who compels them to go far away, to consume or burn up their lives. It’s a rather hard word, but it’s worth it to really live our lives. But we need to live it in a good way, to ‘consume’ it in service, in evangelizing and journey forward. This is the joy of announcing the Gospel.”


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