“First of all, missionary conversion: the goodness of mission depends on the journey of exit from self, the desire not to center life on self, but on Jesus, on Jesus who came to serve and not to be served,” he said.
“In this sense, Pauline Jaricot saw her existence as a response to God’s compassionate and tender mercy: from her youth she sought identification with her Lord, even through the sufferings she went through, in order to kindle the flame of his love in every man,” he said.
“Therein lies the source of the mission, in the ardor of a faith that is not satisfied and that, through conversion, becomes day by day imitation, in order to channel God’s mercy onto the streets of the world.”
The second aspect, prayer, makes the first aspect possible, the pope said.
“It is not by chance that Pauline placed the Work of the Propagation of the Faith alongside the Living Rosary, as if to reiterate that mission begins with prayer and cannot be accomplished without it,” he said.
“Yes, because it is the Spirit of the Lord that precedes and enables all our good works: the primacy is always of his grace. Otherwise, the mission would become a running in vain.”
The last aspect is charity, Pope Francis said.
“Together with the prayer network, Pauline initiated a collection of offerings on a large scale and in a creative form, accompanying it with information about the missionaries’ lives and activities,” he said.
“The offerings of so many simple people were providential for the history of the missions.”
The year 2022 is also the fourth centenary of the founding of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide, which oversaw the dramatic expansion of the Catholic world following its foundation by Pope Gregory XV. The body is known today as the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.