The Church has both a patron and a patroness of missionaries. Saint Therese of Lisieux1,2, Patroness of all Missionaries and the Missions, Patroness of France, and Doctor of the Church, is recognized by the Church for her work in mission, although she lived as a cloistered Carmelite during her short life and never went on mission because of her health. She is Patroness of the Missions because of her love for the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of the missions2. Her famous confession speaks to her love of the work of mission, “…one mission alone would not be sufficient for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only, but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.”
All of those in mission medicine who have had that service interrupted because of the covid pandemic have had a very frustrating year. They have spent the last year wanting to return to the work for which Mission Doctors Association was founded 62 years ago, while doing what they can to be of assistance to Catholic mission hospitals from afar in the interim. Others of us are filled with a love of this work knowing, as St. Theresa did, that we would likely never travel to mission lands but understanding the vital importance of prayer for the success of the work.
As hope grows this year that MDA can soon return to it’s core work, we pray for the intercession of St. Theresa of Lisieux, Patroness of all Missionaries and the Missions, for the safety of those called to this ministry and success of the work of MDA as it supports Catholic healthcare facilities in resource-limited countries.
- Saint Francis Xavier, St Therese of Lisieux
- The Life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux