Pope Benedict XVI: The Church's evangelical mission

In a sunny St Peter’s square on Sunday before the Regina Caeli, Pope Benedict took the opportunity to stress the importance of spreading the word of God. The Holy Father recalled the mission of the church over the centuries and the figures who had been leading lights in the mission of evangelisation such as Saint Charles Borromeo.

But the Pope also stressed that in our world today the vocation of the Church is evangelisation, towards the people who, as he put it, “have not yet been irrigated by the living water of the Gospel as well as those who, despite their ancient Christian roots, need new sap to bear new fruit, and rediscover the beauty and the joy of faith”. 

Pope Benedict gave as an example Blessed Pope John Paul II as someone who in recent times epitomised a great missionary and promoted the new evangelisation.

The Holy Father’s words were in reference to the reading of the Acts of the Apostle, and especially the passage where Philip goes down to the city in Samaria to preach about the Risen Christ.

The Pope explained that the joy and healing that flourished as a result of this knowledge of the Gospel brought about a new sense of hope.

Before greeting the many thousands of faithful in a number of languages including English, Pope Benedict noted that, “whilst the powerful tried to conquer new lands for political and economic reasons, the messengers of Christ went everywhere for the purpose of bringing Christ to men and men to Christ, knowing that only he can bring true freedom and eternal life.”

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