Vatican, 26 April, 2023 / 12:46 pm (ACI Africa).
It is no accident that the patron saint of foreign missionaries is a cloistered nun, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
Speaking in St. Peter’s Square on April 26, the pope pointed to the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the patron saint of missionaries, and other cloistered religious who sustain the life of the Church through intercessory prayer.
“Truly, the monastics are the beating heart of the proclamation [of the Gospel]. Their prayer is oxygen for all the members of the Body of Christ, their prayer is the invisible force that sustains the mission,” Pope Francis said at his general audience.
The pope said that the witness of “nuns and monks, sisters and brothers who renounce themselves and the world to imitate Jesus on the path of poverty, chastity, obedience and to intercede on behalf of all” is a great testimony that runs through history.
He pointed to how St. Thérèse described her vocation in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul”: “I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood it was Love alone that made the Church’s members act, that if Love ever became extinct, apostles would not preach the Gospel and martyrs would not shed their blood.”