VATICAN CITY, JAN. 6, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II dedicated his Angelus address today to “missionary children.”
The Catholic Church today celebrated Children´s Missionary World Day. It also marked the feast of the Epiphany.
St. Peter´s Square witnessed a full celebration, including a cavalcade of Wise Kings coming down the Via della Conciliazione at the end of the Mass presided over by the Pope. Ten new bishops were consecrated at the Mass.
When he appeared at his library window to pray the Angelus, the Holy Father explained to the pilgrims gathered below in the square that this feast of Epiphany “commits ´missionary children´ to spread the light of solidarity, especially where the darkness of poverty, suffering and war are particularly dense.”
“The missionary mandate is for all believers, called to proclaim and witness to the mystery of salvation that was fulfilled in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Christ,” the Holy Father continued.
“Children´s missionary support is particularly dear to the numerous missionaries who, faithful to Christ´s mandate, work to spread the Good News to the farthest corners of the earth,” he said.
According to the Vatican agency Fides, at least 33 Catholic missionaries were killed during 2001.