A message from Sister Roberta Tremarelli, AMSS, Secretary General of the Missionary Childhood Association, as Lent comes to an end, addressed to all the children in the world who are called to have a missionary heart.

Dear missionary children, a warm greeting from La Verna, the place where saint Francis of Assisi received the signs of love by Jesus Crucified.

Lent is coming to an end, and next Sunday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week will start; it is the most important week of the year for the Catholic Church.

God is the faithful friend that made a covenant with us and He won’t betray us.

Jesus, the son of God, is the faithful friend, the most excellent friend in our lives and he must hold the first place in our hearts, because we are in God’s heart and we have a privileged place in it, as if each of us is one and only. So just starting with this big love and from this faithful friendship, our prayers are born. Our prayer is a praise and thanks to the Lord, to Jesus for his faithfulness to us. God, Jesus never abandons us; He never leaves us alone and through our prayers we thank and praise the Lord for His constant presence in our life. And in your meeting and daily commitment as members of the Missionary Childhood, every day you seek to deepen your friendship with Jesus and bring his love to all.

We are sure: we want to be Jesus’ friends!

So because of this, during the Holy week we engage ourselves to stay with Him, to keep Him company. When Jesus entered in Jerusalem “Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields, crying out “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mark 11: 8-10)

A few days later Jesus shared the last supper with his apostles.

Then Jesus lived and experienced alone the sorrow of the Passion.

But today we, as his disciples, as his missionary disciples, we commit ourselves to stay with Him, in unity with God and with Mary.

During this Holy week our prayer, our simple daily prayer will be in Jesus’ heart.

Dear missionary children, we commit ourselves to answer our calling, to answer God’s friendship and faithfulness with our prayer, to be with Jesus.

Listening and reading the Word of God, the Gospel, we can experience the amazing love that God has for us; we can experience his care for us.

Therefore, we reply through our prayers to Jesus’ heart, accompanying Him through the passion and thus reaching with Him the joy of resurrection, to share with everyone that He has conquered death.

I invite you to stay vigilant and courageous with Jesus, with eyes and heart open to the events of the Passion, to his words, to his actions and to his silence.

Always be ready to give witness of our faith in Him.

Without fear of not succeeding, he loves us even if we are afraid, even if we are not able to do what we want. Let us stay with Jesus, without disappointment for what happen, but always confident in his promise. Let us be with the suffering Jesus until the end.

Let us remember that during his mission, Jesus always welcomed children and now it is our turn to welcome Him.

Let us pray with Jesus to be strong against the evil.

Let us look at Crucified and Risen Jesus to know Him and to become his witness.

Dear missionary children, I wish to all of you, to your parents and animators, to the priests and sisters a fruitful Holy week and a joyful Easter.