VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Children can also be missionaries and “witnesses of God’s tenderness,” Benedict XVI said while celebrating Missionary Childhood Day.
The Holy Father explained today after praying the Angelus that this day is observed worldwide on the solemnity of the Epiphany, as it “is the feast of Christian children who live joyfully the gift of faith and pray that the light of Jesus will reach all the children of the world.”
“I thank the children of ‘Holy Childhood,’ present in 110 countries, as they are precious cooperators of the Gospel and apostles of Christian solidarity in favor of the neediest,” he said, addressing the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Bishop of Rome encouraged “educators to cultivate in little ones the missionary spirit, so that impassioned missionaries will arise among them, witnesses of God’s tenderness and proclaimers of his love.”
The Pontifical Society for Missionary Childhood, part of the Pontifical Missionary Societies, aims to foster in children the desire to be missionaries and to help other children with prayer and financial support.
This society, founded in 1843, also helps educators — parents, catechists and teachers — to foster the universal missionary dimension in the education of children.
Above all, children give of their savings, which Missionary Childhood allocates yearly to support some 4,000 projects for the world’s neediest children.