On the feast of Pentecost, this May 20, 2018, Pope Francis encouraged children to practice “small daily gestures of love and service.”
During the Regina Coeli, over which he presided in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of some 30,000 people, the Pontiff stressed that Pentecost marks “the origin of the universal mission of the Church.” In this framework, he added, his Message for the 92nd World Mission Day (October 21, 2018) has just been published on the theme “With Young People, Let’s Take the Gospel to All.”
Therefore, it was to children — that the Holy Father addressed himself the day before –, of the Missionary Childhood Association, “which witnesses children as protagonists of the mission, by prayer and small daily gestures of love and service.”
“I thank and encourage all children that take part in it, to spread the Gospel in the world. Thank you!” added Pope Francis.
In 1843, a French Bishop, Monsignor Charles de Forbin-Janson of Nancy, founded the Pontifical Missionary Childhood Association at the heart of the Pontifical Missionary Associations. He had been profoundly affected by the suffering of abandoned Chinese children, not baptized and without hope.
Today over 15 million children in 112 countries take part in this work: in fact, it’s about “making children missionaries among themselves,” by “a sharing of Faith, of prayer, of material offerings with the most disadvantaged children of faraway countries.”