Pope Francis pays homage to a missionary he met in Africa: missionaries “don't make news”

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At the end of the General Audience, the pope paid public homage to a religious sister he met in the Central African Republic during his trip in 2016. 

“How are you?”

Her name is Sr. Maria Concetta and she was very excited. She is 85 years old and has been a missionary for 60 years. 

“She told me that in her life she helped deliver around 3,000 children. How wonderful! That day, too, she came from the Congo in a canoe, 85 years old, to grocery shop in Bangui.”

The pope offered her a few kind words. He said the homage he offers to her is in celebration of all missionaries. The Church dedicates the month of Oct. to celebrating missions.  

'Beloved Sister, in my name and that of the Church, I offer you this honor. It is a sign of our affection and our 'thank you' for all the work you have done in among our African brothers and sisters, at the service of life, children, mothers, families. Your work, beloved missionaries is great. You 'burn' life by sowing the Word of God with your testimony. In this world you do not make news. You are not news in the newspapers.”

The pope remembered Card. Hummes who often visits Amazonian mission zones. 

“He goes to cemeteries and visits the tombs of the missionaries. So many die young from diseases against which they have no antibodies. He told me, 'All of them deserve to be canonized because they 'burned' their lives in service'.'

The pope's trip to the Central African Republic faced a lot of security concerns. However, his time there impacted him greatly. In the Bangui Cathedral, he inaugurated the Jubilee of Mercy.   

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