Pope marks World Mission Day with thanks for the release of a missionary priest
Pope Francis said he is happy and grateful to God for the liberation of Father Pierluigi Macalli, the Italian missionary priest who was kidnapped in Niger on 17 September 2018. Father Macalli was released on 8 October, after two years of imprisonment in the hands of jihadist militants together with three other hostages.
Speaking after the Angelus prayer, the Pope said: “I wish to thank God for the long-awaited release of Father Pierluigi Macalli who was kidnapped two years ago in Niger.”
The Pope also expressed joy for the release of the other hostages and said “We continue to pray for missionaries and Catechists and for all those who are persecuted or kidnapped in various parts of the world.”
The Pope’s words came on World Mission Day, celebrated by the Church today with the theme taken from the Book of Isaiah, “Baptized and Sent. Weavers of fraternity”.
Emphasizing the precious work of evangelization carried out by lay and consecrated persons, the Pope commented on the word “weavers” saying every Christian is called to be a weaver of fraternity.
Pope Francis to participate in international Prayer Meeting for Peace
On Tuesday, 20 October, Pope Francis will participate in an international Prayer for Peace initiative entitled "No One Is Saved Alone – Peace and Fraternity".
Promoted by the Rome-based Community of Saint Egidio, the Prayer meeting is an ecumenical event and will see the participation of representatives of many Christian denominations in the Basilica of Saint Mary in Aracoeli on Rome’s Capitoline Hill.
According to a statement released by the Vatican Press Office, the Prayer meeting will be followed by an interreligious ceremony in Michelangelo’s Square on the Capitoline Hill in the presence of representatives of the world’s great religions and other world leaders.
The Community of Saint Egidio, that is preparing to host its 34th meeting inspired by the historic interreligious encounter wanted by St. John Paul II in 1986, said it has promoted this International Meeting of Prayer for Peace in the spirit of Assisi and Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli tutti.
The event, which will take place in respect of the anti-covid norms will be live-streamed in 8 languages through the Community’s various web and social media channels.
Quoting from Pope Francis’ third encyclical letter, Fratelli tutti, a Saint Egidio communiqué says "The different religions, based on their respect for each human person as a creature called to be a child of God, contribute significantly to building fraternity and defending justice in society".
"In a difficult moment in history", the communiqué continues, "because of the pandemic but also because of old and new wars in progress - such as the one that has lasted for ten years in Syria or the current one in Nagorno-Karabakh, a solemn moment of reflection, prayer and encounter will be offered to the world from the heart of Europe: a message of hope for the future in the name of the greatest good, which is that of Peace".
Pope: ‘Blessed Carlo Acutis a witness of Christ for younger generations’
Following the beatification of Carlo Acutis on Saturday, 10th of October, Pope Francis invites young people to look to the late Italian teenager as a model of holiness. He also urges Catholics to take part in a Rosary campaign led by Aid to the Church in Need.
Blessed Carlo Acutis was beatified in the Italian town of Assisi on Saturday during Mass celebrated by Cardinal Agostino Vallini.
Pope Francis recalled the 15-year-old Italian teenager as “a young man in love with the Eucharist.” “He did not rest in comfortable immobility. “He grasped the needs of his time, because he saw the face of Christ in the weakest.”
Blessed Carlo Acutis’ example, he added, shows young people that “true happiness is found in putting God in the first place and serving Him in our brothers and sisters.”