Christians Urged to Be Missionaries in Charity
Pontiff Expresses Solidarity With Lepers
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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI asked Christians on the World Day for Leprosy to be missionaries of the Good News not only in word, but also in "active charity."
After praying the Angelus today from the window of his study, the Pope greeted those suffering from leprosy, "assuring [them] of a special prayer," which he extended to "those who, in various ways, assist them."
Speaking in French, Benedict XVI invited "political and health officials to commit themselves still further to those who suffer from" Hanson's disease.
The Pope urged: "May all our contemporaries stand beside their brothers and sisters in humanity. Each one of you is called by Christ and must be a missionary of the Good News in word and in active charity."
Raoul Follereau (1903-1977), a French writer and lawyer, initiated the annual World Day for Leprosy in 1954.