01/03/2006, 00.00
VATICAN
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There is a lot of Asia in the Pope's Intentions of Prayer

Benedict XVI urges the faithful to pray for the mission and missionaries. He reiterates the unity of the Church in China and the reconciliation of the Koreas. And for Christmas, he prays that the Incarnation "help the peoples of the Asian continent recognise in Jesus God's Envoy, the one and only Saviour of the world."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Chinese Church and the reconciliation of the Koreas are in the Pope's heart. Praying for the courage to bear witness to one's faith even when living as a minority and for peace among men are as well—so are praying that the world may have many good missionaries and that justice and solidarity be the guiding principles for using the earth's bounty. Concern for AIDS patients and the protection of life from its beginning to its natural conclusion are in his heart, too. Letting oneself be guided by the Word of God, bearing witness to it, spreading it are what every year and always connect the Intentions for the Apostleship of Prayer which Benedict XVI presented in his December 31, 2005, Pontifical Letter. Beyond their meaning, the Intentions have a missionary purpose and often refer to Asian realities.

Although China (That the Church in China be witness to an always greater internal cohesion and show effective and visible communion with the Successor of Peter – August, Missionary Intention) and Korea (That the spirit of reconciliation and peace expand on the Korean peninsula – November, Missionary Intention) are explicitly cited, the whole of Asia is in the Pope's thoughts (That the Incarnation of the Son of God, that the Church solemnly celebrates at Christmas, help the peoples of the Asian continent recognise in Jesus God's Envoy, the one and only Saviour of the world – December, Missionary Intention).

Notwithstanding the many Intentions referring to the mission and missionaries, many others concern situations that are well known in Asia such as "That the struggle against diseases and the great epidemics in the Third World find in a spirit of solidarity the ever more generous cooperation of governments" (February, Missionary Intention) or "That Christians who live as a minority find the strength and courage to live their faith and persevere in being its witness" (General Intention for October). (FP)

This is text of the Pontifical Letter of December 31, 2005, establishing the Intentions of Apostleship of Prayer for the year 2007.

January

His general Intention is: That in our times, sadly marked by quite a few episodes of violence, the Pastors of the Church continue to show the way of peace and understanding to every man's heart.

His missionary Intention is: That the Church in Africa become ever more the true witness of the Good Word of Christ and promote reconciliation and peace in every nation.

February

His general Intention is: That the earth's bounty God gave to all men be used wisely and according to principles of justice and solidarity.

His missionary Intention is: That the struggle against diseases and the great epidemics in the Third World find in a spirit of solidarity the ever more generous cooperation of governments.

March

His general Intention is: That the Word of God be more and more listened to, contemplated, loved and lived.

His missionary Intention is: That the concern of those in young Churches who train catechists, organisers and lay people at the service of the Gospel be constant.

April

His general Intention is: That every Christian, letting himself be enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit, respond with enthusiasm and fidelity to the universal call for holiness.

His missionary Intention is: That the number of priestly and religious vocations grow in North America and in the countries of the Pacific Ocean so as to adequately respond to the pastoral and missionary needs of their populations.

May

His general Intention is: That every Christian, following the example of the Virgin Mary, always heed the signs of the Lord in their lives and let themselves be guided by the Word of God.

His missionary Intention is: That the lands of Mission never be found lacking in good and enlightened teachers in the major seminaries and institutes of consecrated life.

June

His general Intention is: That the Lord protect mariners and all those who are involved in activities on the seas.

His missionary Intention is: That through its presence and action the Church in North Africa be a witness of God's love for every individual and people.

July

His general Intention is: That every citizen as an individual and in a group actively participate in the life and management of public affairs.

His missionary Intention is: That every Christian, conscious of his missionary duty, actively help those involved in the evangelisation of peoples.

August

His general Intention is: That all those going through difficult times and trials find in Christ the light and support to discover true happiness.

His missionary Intention is: That the Church in China be witness to an always greater internal cohesion and show effective and visible communion with the Successor of Peter.

September

His general Intention is: That the ecumenical assembly in Sibiu (Romania) contribute to the growth of unity among Christians for which the Lord prayed at the Last Supper.

His missionary Intention is: That when joyfully joining Christ, all missionary men and women know how to overcome the difficulties they encounter in their every day life.

October

His general Intention is: That Christians who live as a minority find the strength and courage to live their faith and persevere in being its witness.

His missionary Intention is: That World Missionary Day be a favourable occasion to elicit an ever deeper missionary consciousness in every baptised person.

November

His general Intention is: That those involved in medical research and in making laws always harbour a profound respect for human life from its beginning to its natural conclusion.

His missionary Intention is: That the spirit of reconciliation and peace expand on the Korean peninsula.

December

His general Intention is: That society promptly take care of those living with AIDS, especially women and children, and may the Church make them feel the love of the Lord.

His missionary Intention is: That the Incarnation of the Son of God that the Church solemnly celebrates at Christmas, help the peoples of the Asian continent recognise in Jesus God's Envoy, the one and only Saviour of the world.

From the Vatican, December, 31 2005

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