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Pope Francis: message for World Mission Day, “we do not practise proselytism”, “faith is not a product for sale”

“A Church that presses forward to the farthest frontiers requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion”. This is what Pope Francis wrote in his Message for World Mission Day, which is celebrated on 20 October on the theme: “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World”. “We do not practise proselytism”, Pope Francis remarked, for the Christian faith “is not a product for sale, but a treasure to be given”. “How many saints, how many men and women of faith, witness to the fact that this unlimited openness, this going forth in mercy, is indeed possible and realistic, for it is driven by love and its deepest meaning as gift, sacrifice and gratuitousness”, the Pope highlighted: “I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving. As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love”. “We are children of our natural parents, but in baptism we receive the origin of all fatherhood and true motherhood”, the Holy Father recalled, explaining that “no one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother”.

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