During the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015-2016) in accordance with the Papal Bull Misericordiae Vultus, almost 1000 priests, selected from around the world, received from the Pope the right to absolve the sins that are normally the exclusive competence of the Apostolic See. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for promoting the New Evangelization oversaw the selection and organization of their pastoral mission in the dioceses of the world. On 21 November 2016, the Holy Father, in his apostolic letter Misericordia et miserable, prolonged this extraordinary ministry of these confessors, “Missionaries of Mercy”, beyond the Holy year entrusting them to the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelization.
From 7 to 11 April 2018, the first meeting of these “Missionaries of Mercy” took place in Rome. About 600, of the current missionaries 895, responded to the initiative, among them five Passionists (Frs. Fernando Taccone (MAPRAES), Fr. Tito Paolo Zecca (MAPRAES), Fr. Lorenzo Baldella (MAPRAES), Fr. Francisco das Chagas da Silva Marques (GETH) and Fr. Maurizio De Sanctis (MAPRAES). The four-day meeting was characterized by meditations, liturgies and testimonials. Pope Francis preached an extensive meditation on mercy in a private audience on 10 April. Then he presided at the Eucharist in St. Peter’s with all the Missionaries.