Pope Francis commissioned hundreds of “Missionaries of Mercy” during Mass on Ash Wednesday, February 10, at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

In his Bull announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father said the Missionaries of Mercy “would be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith.” Priests chosen to be Missionaries of Mercy have also been given the authority to pardon “even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Above all, the Pope said, they will be “living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon.”

Among those commissioned in the Vatican were several Passionists– Fr. Fernando Taccone (MAPRAES), Fr. Tito Paolo Zecca (MAPRAES), Fr. Lorenzo Baldella (MAPRAES) and Fr. Francisco das Chagas da Silva Marques (CALV).  Additionally, Fr. Gabriele Cingolani (MAPRAES) was commissioned a “Missionary of Mercy” in Canada.