Indian Capuchin presents painting to Pope

By Matters India Reporter

Vatican: An Indian Capuchin priest and missionary of mercy presented drawing to Pope Francis in the Vatican at the sideline of Missionaries of Mercy (MoM) gathering in Rome.

“I met Pope Francis and presented a drawing with the text ‘Merciful Pope Francis on April 10.’ I had written in the picture, ‘Merciful Pope Francis” and read it to him,” Fr. Nithya Sagayam OFM Capuchin, told Matters India.

“The visit was as a part of the group of Missionaries of Mercy. Pope Francis’ message for us to continue this mission has been very strengthening. The Holy Father said, ‘A priest has the ministry of Mercy of God 24/7,’” the priest recalled.

Fathe Sagayam is an Indian theologian and social activist. He served as executive secretary of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences – Office for Human Development for so some years.

Father Sagayam is one of the 550 Missionaries of Mercy delegates around the world. They gathered for a meeting in the Vatican from April 7 to 11, to concelebrate Holy Mass with the Holy Father and also to attend a series of lectures, discussions and prayer services.

The meetings started on April 7, with a prayer vigil for Divine Mercy Sunday, with the Missionaries of Mercy serving as confessors. On April 8, the Papal Holy Mass was concelebrated by the MoMs in St Peter’s Square.

The following day began with prayer and then the MoM’s attended a lecture on ‘Reconciliation: Sacrament of Mercy’. Few MoMs then shared their testimonies. Confession for the MoMs was be heard, which was followed by a Catechesis: ‘Sin and Mercy in the Life of the Priest’. Eucharistic Adoration and Holy Mass followed.

On April 10, the MoMs attended a lecture on ‘The Missionary of Mercy According to Pope Francis’. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, delivered the lecture. At 11.30am, the MoMs had a special audience with Pope Francis himself.

On the final day, Archbishop Octavio Ruiz Arenas, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, delivered a lecture on ‘Pastoral Indications on the Sacrament of Reconciliation’. This was followed by Holy Mass and a farewell ceremony.

Invitation to the meeting in Rome was extended to all the Missionaries of Mercy who, subsequent to the closure of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, manifested to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, with the agreement of their Local Ordinary, their wish to continue in this ministry.

“I had altogether 34 retreats preached in English and Tamil ever since I was appointed missionary of Mercy. There were also motivational training for children, teachers, youth and families along with retreat to the Religious groups,” Father Sagayam said.

“Certainly, the Sacrament of Reconciliation always played central focus. My mission of being Missionary of Mercy by the Vatican still continues. I am grateful to God and others who played a vital role in my growth,” he added.

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