A major initiative of the Year of Mercy will begin on Ash Wednesday as Pope Francis sends out, from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, some 1,000 “missionaries of mercy” — including 100 from the United States — to “be living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, announced Jan. 29 that the missionaries are “a select number of priests who have received from the pope the charge to be privileged witnesses in their respective churches of the extraordinariness of this Jubilee event.”
The priests were recommended by their bishops and encouraged to apply to the Holy See for the unique ministry. That means all of the missionaries were named exclusively by the Holy Father and will receive their faculties directly from him.
“It is only the pope who nominates these missionaries, not the bishops, and it is he who entrusts them with the mandate to announce the beauty of the mercy of God while being humble and wise confessors who possess a great capacity to forgive those who approach the confessional,” Archbishop Fisichella said.
The missionaries come from every continent and every major country, as well as regions where God’s mercy is especially needed, including Burma, Lebanon, China, South Korea, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Burundi, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Latvia, East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand, and Egypt. There will also be priests from the Eastern Catholic Churches.
Read more at OSV.com…