Pope Prays for Frontline Missionaries

Says They Risk Persecution in Their Work

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NAPLES, Italy, OCT. 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI urged Christians to pray for those on the frontlines of missionary work, who often encounter difficulties and risk persecution to carry out their apostolates.



The Pope said this today before delivering his Angelus address in Naples' Piazza del Plebiscito, and after celebrating the opening Mass of the 21st International Encounter of Peoples and Religions.

"Today," the Holy Father said, "we celebrate World Mission Sunday, which has a very significant motto: 'All the Churches For All the World.'"

He continued: "Let us not fail to give our spiritual and material support to those who work on the frontlines of the missions: priests, religious and lay people, who often encounter grave difficulties in their work, and even persecutions."

The Pontiff also mentioned the 45th Social Week of Italian Catholics, which ended today in Pistoia and Pisa. "May the Holy Virgin also protect those who in various ways commit themselves to the common good and the just order of society," he said.

Bendict XVI continued: "There are many problems and challenges that we face today. A strong effort is required by all, especially lay faithful working in social and political spheres, to assure that every person, in particular the youth, be assured the indispensable conditions for developing their natural talents and cultivating the generous choices of service to their families and the entire community."