Pope Francis has declared that October this year will be an Extraordinary Missionary Month, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. For the Extraordinary Missionary Month, the Holy Father has chosen the theme ‘Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on a Mission in the World’. He encourages us to awaken the awareness of the mission to all peoples, and to reinvigorate the proclaiming of the Gospel with new enthusiasm. In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis reminded us: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church” (EG 15).

Pope Francis also encourages us to enter into the spirit of this special month through personal and communal prayer. We therefore invite you to pray the Rosary individually or as a group on the first Sunday of October this year, as an ideal way of praying for this intention of Pope Francis. We will pray the following five mysteries:

  • The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation – Mary sets out on Mission to care for her elderly cousin, Elizabeth
  • The third Luminous Mystery: The Proclamation of the Kingdom – at the heart of all missionary endeavours
  • The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Jesus takes up His Cross – for all missionaries who suffer in their work of proclaiming the Gospel
  • The First Glorious Mystery: The Resurrection – all missionary works seek to proclaim the Risen Christ
  • The Third Glorious Mystery: The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles – that the Holy Spirit continue to inspire the work of missionaries throughout the world

As we invite you to pray through Mary’s intercession on this special day, let us reflect on Pope Francis’ words in his letter to the Church for World Mission Day: “We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.”

Our final prayer will be the prayer that Pope Francis has written for this great month in our Church:

Rosary Aotearoa Team