Every baptized person is a missionary. We are all called to be witnesses of the love and mercy of God found in the person of Jesus Christ. The Office of Missions promotes this universal missionary spirit in the hearts and minds of the people of God including children through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), the Society of St. Peter Apostle, Missionary Cooperative Plan (MCP) and Missionary Union of Priest and Religious. To read Pope Francis’ most recent letter for World Missions Day, click here.
Pontifical Mission Societies
We are all called to be witnesses of the love and mercy of God found in the person of Jesus Christ. Through the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), known in some countries as Missio, the Universal Church continues to proclaim the redemption and fulfillment of man wrought by the death and resurrection of Christ the Lord. This group of Catholic missionary societies, under the jurisdiction of the Pope, care for and support the younger churches until they are able to be self-sufficient. These organizations include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, the Missionary Childhood Association and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.
Each of the Pontifical Mission Societies has its own, specific identity, goal and means of activity. These four societies renew their activity to suit the different situations in the Church and in society; they are united in spirit and intent to promote a generous missionary spirit among the people of God.
The devotion to the Holy Child Jesus has been a tradition of the Catholic Church for a very long time. This devotion is a veneration of our Lord’s sacred Infancy. “The more you will honor me, the more I will bless you.” This promise bears much fruit through the centuries and in every country.
We entrust the Child Jesus to provide for the spiritual and material needs of our Missions!
St. Therese of Liseiux
St. Therese of Liseiux was a cloistered Carmelite nun. She is one of the patron saints of the missions – not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries. St. Therese’s “little way” was that of trusting in Jesus to make her holy, and she relied on small daily sacrifices for her sanctification instead of great deeds. This is how we can follow her example to sanctify our ordinary life.
Love!…that is what I ask…I know but one thing now – to love Thee, O Jesus! Glorious deeds are not for me, I cannot preach the Gospel, shed my blood…what does it matter? My brothers toil instead of me, and I, the little child, I keep quite close to the royal throne, I love for those who fight. — Story of A Soul, Chapter XI
St. Francis Xavier, patron of all foreign missions
St. Francis Xavier was a Navarrese-Basque Roman Catholic missionary born in the Kingdom of Navarre on April 7, 1506. He was a companion of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and one of the first seven Jesuits who took vows of poverty and chastity. He led an extensive mission into Asia, mainly in the Portuguese Empire of the time and was influential in evangelization work, most notably in India. He also was the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan, Borneo, the Maluku Islands, and other areas. St. Francis Xavier was about to extend his missionary preaching to China when he died. Click here to read a letter from St. Francis Xavier to St. Ignatius.