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Background: World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 20, 2024

On April 21, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Church commemorates the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Pope Francis’s message for the day is entitled “Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace.” Following an introduction, the message has three brief sections, entitled “A people on the move,” “Pilgrims of hope and builders of peace,” and “The courage to commit.”

Pope St. Paul VI instituted the day of prayer in 1964 and placed it on the Sunday on which the Gospel of the Good Shepherd is read at Mass.

“The problem of having a sufficient number of priests,” he stated in his message for the 1st World Day of Prayer for Vocations, “has an immediate impact on all of the faithful: not simply because they depend on it for the religious future of Christian society, but also because this problem is the precise and inescapable indicator of the vitality of faith and love of individual parish and diocesan communities, and the evidence of the moral health of Christian families.”

“Wherever numerous vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are to be found, that is where people are living the Gospel with generosity,” he added.

Past papal messages for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations are found on the Vatican website (Pope St. Paul VI, Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis).


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