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Pope, at general audience, pays tribute to St. Daniel Comboni

September 20, 2023

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on the theme of “the passion for evangelization: the apostolic zeal of the believer,” Pope Francis devoted his September 20 general audience to St. Daniel Comboni (1831-1881).

“In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we have been reflecting on the spread of the Gospel through the witness of men and women of every time and place,” Pope Francis said, in the words of the Vatican summary of his remarks. “Today we turn to Africa and the prophetic missionary vision of Saint Daniel Comboni, centered on the liberating power of the Gospel..”

The summary continued:

In a social context marked by the evil of slavery, Daniel Comboni preached Christ, crucified and risen, as the source of authentic freedom, not only from sin but from every form of enslavement that debases our human dignity. Ahead of his time, he recognized the need for an integral evangelization involving local clergy, catechists and lay leaders, grounded in the Gospel message and its summons to the building of a just, solidary and humane social order.

For Saint Daniel Comboni, Christian charity, manifested in our solidarity with those who suffer, is the ultimate inspiration and driving force behind all missionary outreach. May his love of the Church, his commitment to her universal mission, and his pastoral concern for the future of the peoples of Africa continue to inspire the evangelizing efforts of the Church in our own time.


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