“Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Mission Month. Awakening the awareness of the missio ad gentes, and reinvigorating the sense of responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes that combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, published 100 years ago, with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church.” (EG 15)
How to Live the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
There are four dimensions, specified by the Pope, to live more intensely the journey of preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019:
- A personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in His Church through the Eucharist, the Word of God, personal and communal prayer;
- Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs and confessors of the faith, as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world;
- Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological;
- Missionary charity.
The Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith [Propaganda Fide]
In 1622, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith – Propaganda Fide – was created by Pope Gregory XV for promoting and directing the work of evangelization and of the missionary efforts of the Church. In 1967, Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the validity of its apostolic service and gave the Dicastery a new name: The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP). All of the baptized, through the real efficacy of the Christian Faith expressed in active charity, are responsible for the mission of the Church, supporting the Holy Father in his mission as Universal Shepherd.
The Pontifical Mission Societies
The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) are committed to promoting and supporting the missionary efforts of the Church through prayer, self-sacrifice, and missionary vocations. They were born from a deep concern for the missions of both laity and clergy in the19th and 20th centuries. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) together with the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) are currently reinforcing their “efforts to collect and distribute material aid in the light of [their] mission and the formation that this requires, so that missionary integrity, awareness, and responsibility can once again be part of the ordinary life of the entire holy and faithful People of God.” (Address of his Holiness Pope Francis to the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, June 1st, 2018).
The Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 is a missionary cross where the primary colours refer to the five continents. The Cross is the instrument and direct sign of communion between God and man for the universality of our mission, and through its vibrant colours, a sign of victory and resurrection. The world is transparent because the action of evangelization has no barriers or boundaries; it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Christian charity and the world transfigured in the Spirit overcome distances and open the horizon of our minds and hearts. The words Baptised and Sent next to the image indicate the two characteristics of every Christian: baptism and proclamation.
The Colours of the Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The primary colours of the Cross referred to the five continents: red for America, green for Africa, white for Europe, yellow for Asia and blue for Oceania. The red recalls the blood of the American martyrs, seeds for a new life in the Christian faith. Green is the colour of life and symbolizes growth, fruitfulness, youth and vitality. It is also the colour of hope, one of the three theological virtues. White is the symbol of joy, the beginning of a new life in Christ: this is the challenge that the old Europe is facing, so that it may be able to regain the evangelising strength from which it was generated thanks to so many churches and saints. Yellow is the colour of light, which nourishes itself with light by invoking the true Light. Blue is the colour symbolizing the water of life that quenches our thirst and restores us along the path to God. It is the colour of heaven, a sign of God’s dwelling with us.