March 24, 2023 is the thirty-first day of the Missionary Martyrs, on the same date that commemorates the killing of the bishop of San Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered while celebrating holy mass on March 24, 1980. The theme chosen for this year resumes Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Day 2022: “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1,8). Jesus’ urgent invitation to his disciples also resounds strongly for us today: it is an invitation to come close, to imitate the Master in closeness to those at our side, to reach out to those so distant as to feel lost, to break down walls of prejudice, to help those in need.
18 missionaries were killed in 2022, reports Agenzia Fides, information organ of the Pontifical Mission Societies: 12 priests, 1 religious, 3 religious, 1 seminarian, 1 layman. The highest number is recorded in Africa with 9 martyrs, followed by Latin America, with 8 martyrs and finally Asia which records a missionary killed. From the beginning of the twenty-first century until 2021, the total number of missionaries killed reaches 526.
This day invites us to remember the missionaries who gave their lives through martyrdom last year for their faith, dedicating the day to prayer and fasting. Missio Foundation proposes to offer the proceeds of fasting for the project Kay Chal, in favor of the young people of Haiti who wish to redeem their lives and build a better tomorrow.
Link where you can find more information and download the material made available by the Missio foundation for the day.
Link to the teaching aid, where you can find all the videos prepared for the day and other materials.