Pope Francis reflects on Italian missionary's fight for human dignity in Africa

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Continuing his catechesis on apostolic zeal, Pope Francis used the example of St. Daniel Comboni, an Italian bishop and missionary in Africa. He also founded the Comboni Missionary religious order.

The Pope emphasized St. Daniel's fight against slavery and support for greater respect for human dignity. His life is a witness to working together with the local Church to build a better society.


Dear brothers and sisters,

In our catechesis on apostolic zeal, we have been reflecting on the spread of the Gospel through the witness of men and women of every time and place. Today, we turn to Africa and the prophetic missionary vision of Saint Daniel Comboni, centerd on the liberating power of the Gospel. In a social context marked by the evil of slavery, Daniel Comboni preached Christ, crucified and risen, as the source of authentic freedom, not only from sin but from every form of enslavement that debases our human dignity. Ahead of his time, he recognized the need for an integral evangelization involving local clergy, catechists and lay leaders, grounded in the Gospel message and its summons to the building of a just, solidary and humane social order.

For Saint Daniel Comboni, Christian charity, manifested in our solidarity with those who suffer, is the ultimate inspiration and driving force behind all missionary outreach. May his love of the Church, his commitment to her universal mission, and his pastoral concern for the future of the peoples of Africa continue to inspire the evangelizing efforts of the Church in our own time.

I extend a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from Denmark, Norway, Cameroon, Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!


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