Vatican City, Nov 20, 2020 / 04:30 am
Pope Francis urged members of the Passionist order Thursday to deepen their commitment to “the crucified of our age” as they mark the 300th anniversary of their founding.
In a message to Fr. Joachim Rego, superior general of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, the pope challenged the order to focus on helping the poor, the weak and the oppressed.
“Do not tire of accentuating your commitment to the needs of humanity,” the pope said in the message issued Nov. 19. “This missionary calling is directed above all towards the crucified of our age -- the poor, the weak, the oppressed and those discarded by many forms of injustice.”
The pope sent the message, dated Oct. 15, as the Passionists prepared to launch a Jubilee year celebrating the foundation of the order by St. Paul of the Cross in Italy in 1720.
The Jubilee year, whose theme is “Renewing our mission: gratitude prophecy, and hope,” will begin on Sunday, Nov. 22, and end on Jan. 1, 2022.
The pope said that the order’s mission could only be strengthened by an “inner renewal” among the Passionists’ over 2,000 members, present in more than 60 countries.
“The implementation of this task will require a sincere effort of inner renewal on your part, which derives from your personal relationship with the Crucified-Risen One,” he said. “Only those crucified by love, as Jesus was on the cross, are able to help the crucified of history with effective words and actions.”
“In fact, it is not possible to convince others of God's love only through a verbal and informative proclamation. Concrete gestures are needed to make us experience this love in our own love that is offered by sharing the situations of the crucified, even totally spending one’s life, while remaining aware that between the proclamation and its acceptance in faith there is the action of the Holy Spirit.”