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World Mission Day
Sunday, 24 October 2004


1. World Mission Day is being celebrated today. It is dedicated to prayer and to concrete support for the missions. In addition, all believers are asked on this day to revitalize their own responsibility in the proclamation of the Gospel to all peoples. I thank the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Missionary Societies that promote this Day in my name, and I encourage the diocesan and parish initiatives for this purpose.

2. I address a most cordial welcome and my profound thanks to all the missionaries, men and women, who are working on the frontiers of evangelization. I assure them of my special remembrance in prayer. In particular, I am thinking of those who have crowned their witness to Christ and their service to humanity with the sacrifice of their lives.

3. May Mary Most Holy, Queen of the Missions, obtain everywhere in the Church the gift of numerous vocations to the missionary life.

After leading the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father said in Spanish and in Italian: 

I greet the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, especially the Association of the Lord of Miracles, as well as the Peruvians and Latin Americans who live in Rome and have come to this Square with the venerable image. Thank you for your presence and your prayers!

I greet the Italian-speaking pilgrims, and in particular the parish group of San Pancrazio near Ravenna, who have come here to honour the 17th centenary of their holy Patron's martyrdom.

I wish you all a good Sunday!


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