The Pontifical Mission Societies are a worldwide network at the service of the Pope to support the mission and the young Churches with prayer and charity.
The Second Vatican Council states that two activities are referred to under the name of missions: the proclamation of the Gospel and the establishment of new Churches (AG, 6). The charism of the Pontifical Mission Societies is placed in the broad vision of missio ad gentes and of the relationship between the local and universal Church.
There are four Pontifical Mission Societies. The Society of the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of the Holy Childhood and the Society of St. Peter the Apostle were born in France in the 19th century, two of which from initiatives of women who were passionate about mission. In particular, Pauline Jaricot, the founder of the 1st Society in 1822, expressed the fundamental principle: to pray and offer for the work of evangelization of the Church. The fourth Society, the Pontifical Missionary Union, was born in the early 1900s.
The PMS are at the service of the Church and give every baptized person the opportunity to live their faith by sharing it with others and experiencing its universal dimension. Prayer, sacrifice and charity are concrete ways that the PMS offer to live a missionary and universal faith.
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