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Evangelize with renewed zeal, Pope tells Marians of the Immaculate Conception

February 20, 2017

Pope Francis received members of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception on February 18 in the midst of their three-week general chapter in Rome.

The Marians—officially known as Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary—were founded by St. Stanislaus Papczynski in 1673 to promote devotion to Immaculate Mary and prayer for the souls in purgatory.

By the early 1900s, the congregation had only one member. Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz revived the community, and today it has 500 members in 19 countries. The congregation, whose spirituality emphasizes fidelity to the Pope and the teachings of the Church, is engaged in a variety of apostolates, including promotion of devotion to the Divine Mercy.

In his address, which took place in the Hall of the Consistory in the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis discussed poverty, the community’s total dedication to the Church, and the importance of an inculturated evangelization.

The Pope said:

The great challenge of inculturation requires that today you proclaim the Good News using languages and methods comprehensible to the men of our time, involved in processes of rapid social and cultural change. Your Congregation has a long history, written by courageous witnesses of Christ and of the Gospel. You are called, in their wake, to walk with renewed zeal so as to set out, with prophetic freedom and wise discernment—both of them together!—along apostolic roads and missionary frontiers, cultivating close collaboration with the bishops and other members of the ecclesial community


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  • Posted by: mclom - Feb. 21, 2017 8:50 AM ET USA

    One point in what seems like a good exhortation: did Jesus use language always comprehensible to the men of His time? What do Francis' words actually mean? Bearing in mind how he recently castigated prosetylism.