“To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist," said the Pope in his message for the 78th World Mission Day, which was made public today.
He also affirmed that the missonary activity of the Church is still an “urgency in the third millenium” and reiterated the need for it to be founded upon the Eucharist: "How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support?”
The Holy Father’s message underlined the fact that the missionary character of Christian life begins anew after every Mass: "At the end of every Mass all should feel they are sent as 'missionaries of the Eucharist' to carry to every environment the great gift received. In fact anyone who encounters Christ in the Eucharist cannot fail to proclaim through his or her life the merciful love of the Redeemer."
He also underscored the importance of spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, “drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance.”
World Mission Day, October 17th, falls during the International Eucharistic Congress taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico this year, which also coincides with the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.
The document was presented today at the Holy See Press Office by Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The cardinal brought attention to the last part of the Pope’s message, in which he urges the faithful to
materially and spiritually help the Pontifical Missionary Works which support: 280 inter-diocesan major seminaries in which 65,000 seminarians are formed; 110 minor seminaries in which 85,000 seminarians are formed; 42,000 schools; 1,600 hospitals; 6,000 medical clinics; 780 leprosariums and 12,000 social and charitable centers.
He recalled that the works supported by his dicastery aid not only Catholics but members of all religions, citing the Arab countries and India, in which most of those helped are of other religions.