Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - The feast of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus, since 1927 proclaimed Patroness of the Missions with Saint Francis Xavier, which traditionally marks the beginning of Missionary October, will have an extraordinary connotation this year. At 6 pm (Italian time) on Tuesday 1 October, the Holy Father Francis will preside the celebration of solemn Vespers for the opening of the Extraordinary Missionary Month in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican. The celebration will be preceded, starting at 5.15 pm (Italian time), by testimonies and prayers prepared by the eight Italian missionary institutes: Comboni Missionaries, Xaverians, Missionaries of the Consolata, PIME and Missionaries of the Immaculate. At the end Pope Francis will deliver the crucifix to departing missionaries.
On Sunday 20 October, at 10.30 am, the Holy Father will preside the Mass for World Mission Sunday in Saint Peter's Square, which will also be attended by participants in the special Synod for the Amazon which takes place in October at the Vatican.
Another important event will be Monday 7 October, liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary: at 3 pm (Italian time), Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, will lead the recitation of the Holy Rosary in the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The prayer will be broadcast worldwide by Radio Maria.
The intention of prayer for the month of October will also be dedicated to the Extraordinary Missionary Month: the video produced by the Pope's World Prayer Network will be available on www.october2019.va website.
The Extraordinary Missionary Month involves and engages the universal Church in a renewed journey of prayer, witness and reflection on the centrality of the missio ad Gentes in the life of every baptized person. Each local Church is therefore called to live in its own context and situation, moments of sharing, prayer and missionary commitment. We are not asked to "become pilgrims in Rome" but to become pilgrims from one’s own home to every corner of the earth to bring everyone "the joy of the Gospel".
The Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 does not provide for a closing celebration, as it is expected that a renewed ardor for the mission aroused in this time will permeate the future life of every baptized person and of each local Church. Furthermore, from this month of October 2019 we are already projecting ourselves towards the year 2022, in which three important anniversaries will occur for the missionary world: the 400 years of the institution of the "Congregatio de Propaganda Fide" by Pope Gregory XV, on June 22nd 1622; 200 years since the birth of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith on the initiative of venerable Pauline Jaricot; the centenary of the recognition of "Pontifical" of this Society, made by Pope Pius XI with the motu proprio Romanorum Pontificum. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2019)