Pope Francis Calls on Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to Proclaim God’s Love
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis received the missionaries of the Society of the Sacred Heart on the morning of October 2, emphasizing the importance of knowing Christ through the Gospel, deepening mutual understanding through loving sharing, and joyfully proclaiming God’s love in their mission.
The Pope, during the General Assembly of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, encouraged the religious to support their mission with compassion and kindness in their interactions and, above all, with prayer. He highlighted that the Missionary Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by Father Jules Chevalier in 1854, aims to spread the “Holy Love of God” and calls its members to be dedicated missionaries proclaiming God’s love in the world.
In his speech, Pope Francis emphasized the significance of understanding the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Gospel, describing the Gospel as the “Book of the Sacred Heart.” He urged the missionaries to meditate on the life of Jesus and discover His endless mercy, love, and compassion in the Gospels. The Pope stated that through Jesus’ actions and teachings, individuals can deeply understand the divinity and humanity of His Sacred Heart. He emphasized that Jesus, in His resurrection, demonstrated divine and human love, conquering death and revealing the great love of the Father to humanity.
Furthermore, the Pope stressed the importance of deepening mutual understanding through brotherly sharing among the missionaries. He referred to the Gospel account of the two disciples who shared their amazement after recognizing Jesus on the road to Emmaus, affirming that this kind of joyful sharing and wonder when encountering the Lord should be the behavior of the Sacred Heart missionaries.
The Pope also highlighted the role of sharing in the life of Father Chevalier, the founder of the Missionary Order, who passionately shared his dreams and vision with his companions, whom he called “Knights of the Sacred Heart.” The religious of the Sacred Heart are encouraged to share their experiences of encountering Christ in hearing the Word, in the sacraments, and in daily life, promoting unity and constructive engagement within their order.
In the mission of the Sacred Heart religious, the Pope emphasized the importance of proclaiming joy. He praised the motto of the Society of the Sacred Heart, “Regarding others as oneself,” which advocates for selflessness towards the family, society, and all creation.
However, the Pope acknowledged the challenges that missionaries face today, such as serving the poor and immigrants and confronting injustice around the world. He encouraged the religious to embrace the compassion of the Sacred Heart of Christ and let His tenderness and kindness guide their work.
The Pope concluded his address by asking the religious to continue their work with passion and to pray for him. He acknowledged the difficulty of their job, stating, “This job is not that easy!” and thanked them for their dedication.
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