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61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations: Pope’s Message

The 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations (PVWD) is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Easter, 21 April 2024, in an important date known as “Good Shepherd’s Sunday“, since the liturgy commemorates that day with chapter 10, 11-18 of the Gospel of John.

How did the idea of creating the World Day of Prayer for Vocations come about? In 1961  Pope John XXIII, prompted by various particular initiatives all over the Church, instituted for Italy the “National Day for Ecclesiastical Vocations“. Then, three years later,  Pope Paul VI officially established this World Day and first celebrated the event on 12 April 1964 (here is the Radio message from Pope Paul VI for the 1st World Day of Vocations).

As usual, in the days close to the PVWD, the Pope released his message on the theme. This year’s edition is entitled  Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace and urges Christians to welcome our shared vocation to sow the seeds of hope and peace in our world.

In this message Pope Francis emphasizes that all followers of Christ are urged to embrace our divine purpose of serving Him in society, whether it be through dedicating our lives to God, becoming priests, getting married, or even choosing the path of singlehood.

He highlights the importance of showing thankfulness during World Vocations Day festivities, as we commemorate the numerous Christians who dedicate their lives to God in various professions. Specifically, he encourages young individuals to make space for God in their lives, enabling them to find joy in answering His call, which always respects our freedom of choice.

The Pope advises to: allow Jesus to guide you closer to Himself. Approach Him with your burning questions as you dive into the teachings of the Gospels; allow His presence to inspire you, stirring a positive transformation within us.”

The Pope encourages prayers for individuals pursuing priesthood and religious life, asking for God to send more workers into His harvest, as the Gospel tells “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Lk 10:2).

In the last part of his message Pope Francis reminds us that following Christ is somehow like embarking on a “pilgrimage” where our focus is fixed on our ultimate destination – Christ – and where we begin afresh each day. Our earthly journey is purposeful with a precise aim,” he states “Every day, as we respond to God’s call, we strive to take each step necessary to progress towards a new realm where harmony, equity, and love prevail.

The primary objective of every Christian calling, the Pope asserts, is to become ambassadors of hope, spreading the message of hope and peace amidst various challenges and the looming threat of conflicts.”



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