The liturgical feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (1873-1897) which was celebrated on October 1st, marks the beginning of October, month of the missions, which will culminate in the celebration of World Mission Day, on the third Sunday of the month, this year on October 18.
In some countries Mission Day is moved to another Sunday, according to local pastoral needs. In the Chapel of Propaganda Fide, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, presided Mass this morning which was attended by priests, religious men and women and laity of the Congregation and the International Secretariats of the Pontifical Missionary Societies.
All over the world the Catholic Church celebrates the Month of the Missions in October, recalling the duty of every baptized person to collaborate, with prayer and with support, the universal mission of the Church. October was chosen as mission month in memory of the discovery of America, which opened a new page in the history of evangelization.
On Mission Day, which this year falls during the celebration of the XIV General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, from October 4 to 25, which will deal with the theme “Vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in contemporary world”, Pope Francis will canonize the couple Ludovico Martin and Maria Azelia Guérin, St. Therese’s parents, proclaimed Patroness of the Missions in 1927 with Saint Francis Xavier.
Their relics, together with those of their daughter, will be exposed for the veneration of the faithful during the Synod, in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. Even the Italian priest, Fr. Vincenzo Grossi, and Spanish nun Sister Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Maris Salvat Romero) will be canonized.