This Ash Wednesday, missionaries of mercy will be sent forth by Pope Francis during a celebration in St. Peter’s, to spread God’s mercy during the jubilee proclaimed by the Holy Father to begin Dec. 8.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization is accepting applicants for those priests who want to be named missionaries. They will be granted “the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See,” the Pope wrote in Misericordiae Vultus, (The Face of Mercy), the document officially proclaiming the Holy Year.
The figure of the Missionary is described in Misericordiae Vultus number 18.
The Missionaries are to be:
— a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness;
— facilitators for all, with no one excluded, of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again;
— guided by the words, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all;
— inspiring preachers of Mercy;
— heralds of the joy of forgiveness;
— welcoming, loving, and compassionate Confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.
The Missionaries will be invited by individual Diocesan Bishops within their particular country to give missions or facilitate specific initiatives organized for the Jubilee, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Every Missionary must have a letter of recommendation from his local Ordinary or Religious Superior which testifies to the suitability of the priest for this particular mission.
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