There has been much mention of the Missionaries of Mercy, who have been chosen to go out to the people in a special way during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. I thought it might be helpful to share a little information on precisely what they role in. The information here is courtesy of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation.
On Ash Wednesday, the Missionaries of Mercy will be sent forth by Pope Francis during a celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. The figure of the Missionary is described in the Bull of Indication Misericordiae Vultus number 18. Please note the following:
The Missionaries are to be:
- a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness;
- facilitators for all, with no one excluded, of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again;
- guided by the words, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all;
- inspiring preachers of Mercy;
- heralds of the joy of forgiveness;
- welcoming, loving, and compassionate Confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.
The Missionaries will be invited by individual Diocesan Bishops within their particular country to give missions or facilitate specific initiatives organized for the Jubilee, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Holy Father will grant these Missionaries the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.
Letter from the Bishop
Every Missionary must have a letter of recommendation from his local Ordinary or Religious Superior which testifies to the suitability of the priest for this particular mission.
Candidacy for the Missionaries of Mercy is Closed.
Since the Missionaries of Mercy accepted – who should come to Rome next Ash Wednesday to receive the special mandate from the Holy Father for their mission of preaching and confessions – has already greatly surpassed the hoped for number, on 25 November 2015 the application process for this service was closed.
The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization extends heartfelt thanks to all the priests who offered themselves for this service, including all those whose desire must desire remain only in their hearts. To these latter in particular comes the encouragement to work as witnesses of Mercy in their own daily missions, in the parishes, institutes, and other communities where they offer their service with love.