Evangelization at the core of Pope Francis’ prayer intention for August

01 August 2021

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Evangelization is at the core of Pope Francis’ prayer intention for August: Let us pray for the Church, that she may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel. The task of the Pontifical Mission Societies is to reawaken a missionary spirit that is at the heart of baptism and the personal challenge for every baptised Christian, as Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples so eloquently reminded us last June during his intervention at the annual General Assembly of the PMS. The Cardinal emphasised that prayer is essential for missionary activity, and that missionary animation is not something separate from being disciples and friends of Jesus, who sends us out to bear fruit. Even today, like the Church at its origins, the PMS continues to be animated and guided by the Holy Spirit. This is especially significant on the eve of important anniversaries to be celebrated in 2022: the bicentennial of the foundation of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the centennial of Romanorum Pontificum, Pope Pius’ XI motu proprio by which he designated three of the four Mission Societies as Pontifical. Pope Francis, in his message for World Mission Sunday 2021, also speaks of the experience of the Apostles. Limitations and obstacles became a privileged occasion for anointing everything and everyone with the Spirit of the Lord. Nothing and no one was to be excluded from the message of liberation. And so the Holy Father reiterates that to be on mission is to be willing to think as Christ does, to believe with him that those around us are also my brothers and sisters.