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Archbishop Carballo: Contemplative religious transmit a real experience of God

(Vatican Radio) Looking ahead to the annual “Pro Orantibus" Day which is celebrated annually on November 21, Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to those who belong to contemplative Orders and dedicate themselves to God in prayer and silent work.

On the day itself, the Pope is scheduled to visit a Camaldolese monastery of cloistered nuns on the Aventine Hill where he will celebrate Vespers.

It is a day during which Catholics throughout the world are especially encouraged to honour the cloistered and monastic life and to offer their spiritual and material support to women and men religious dedicated to prayer and sacrifice.

In 1997, Blessed Pope John Paul II asked that this ecclesial event be observed worldwide on November 21, the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Presentation in the Temple. It is a special day to thank those in the cloistered and monastic life for serving as “a leaven of renewal and of the presence of the spirit of Christ in the world.” It is also intended to remind others of the need to provide spiritual and material support “for those who pray.”

Speaking to Vatican Radio, Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, says it is an occasion to celebrate those who live in monasteries, separated – but not isolated…

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Archbishop Carballo says this day is important for Catholics and Christians “to be close to the sisters and to thank them because they are very important in the mission of the Church”.

He points out that “If the mission of the Church is not only a question of strategies – as the last Synod reminded us – then the contemplatives are very, very important in this essential dimension of the Church”.

Catholics – Archbishop Carballo says - must understand that “the most important thing in evangelization is to transmit a real experience of God, and in this sense contemplative life is itself evangelization and mission”.


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