In celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has chosen more than 1,000 priests to be "missionaries of mercy" and preach and teach about God's mercy during this holy year. According to Catholic News Service, 700 of the 1,071 missionaries chosen by Francis will be in Rome on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10) to concelebrate the liturgy and receive their special mandate at St. Peter's Basilica.
The Jubilee of Mercy website explains the various functions and characteristics of the missionaries in detail. Diocesan bishops nominated these priests to apply and the Holy Father chose the missionaries personally. The missionaries will be able to pardon, during the Sacrament of Reconciliation, types of sins usually reserved for the Holy See.
The missionaries are to be:
1. A living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness.
2. Facilitators for all, with no one excluded, of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again.
3. Guided by the words: “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all; inspiring preachers of Mercy."
4. Heralds of the joy of forgiveness.
5. Welcoming, loving, and compassionate confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.
Read about two Franciscans of the Province of St. John the Baptist who will serve as missionaries of mercy here.
Read more profiles of Dominican, Jesuit, Holy Cross, and diocesan priests commissioned to be missionaries here.