The first missionary religious congregation for women in the history of the Church and the world is the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary founded in 1877 by BL. Mary of the Passion, now in the 139th year of its course.

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Inspiration

Pope Calls All Religions to Follow Path of Mercy

 

Pope Calls All Religions to Follow Path of Mercy

The Pope said the “mystery of mercy is not to be celebrated in words alone, but above all by deeds, by a truly merciful way of life marked by disinterested love, fraternal service and sincere sharing. The Church increasingly desires to adopt this way of life, also as part of her ‘duty to foster unity and charity’ among all men and women.”

Religions are called to this way of life, the Holy Father affirmed, “in order to be, particularly in our own day, messengers of peace and builders of communion, and to proclaim, in opposition to all those who sow conflict, division and intolerance, that ours is a time of fraternity.”

The Pope said this is why it’s important to seek encounter — an encounter that avoids syncretism but that makes us more open to dialogue and understanding.

And yet, before the “drama of evil,” precisely here, “we find the most amazing aspect of merciful love. That love does not leave us prey to evil or to our own frailty; it does not “forget”, but “remembers”, and draws near to every human misery in order to relieve it. Like a mother. Whatever the evil done by her child, a mother always sees past the sin to recognize the face she bore in her womb.”

The world today is ever more in need of “the oxygen of this gratuitous and life-giving love.”

“We thirst for mercy and no technology can quench that thirst,” the Pope said.

The Holy Father invited the religious leaders to follow this path: “May we reject the aimless paths of disagreement and closed-mindedness. May it never happen again that the religions, because of the conduct of some of their followers, convey a distorted message, out of tune with that of mercy.

“May the religions be wombs of life, bearing the merciful love of God to a wounded and needy humanity; may they be doors of hope helping to penetrate the walls erected by pride and fear.”