Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Monday, 22 April 2024
Message of Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia Paolo Martinelli marking World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2024 :

Following is the text of the message by Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia Paolo Martinelli marking the World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2024, dated  April 20, 2024:

Dear sisters and brothers,

Peace be with you!

This year, on April 21st, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the 61st World Day of Prayer for Vocations. 

It is a beautiful opportunity to remind ourselves that each of us was not born by chance but because God wanted us to participate in his plan of salvation for all humanity. Life is a wonderful gift that comes from God. He calls us to the fullness of love. 

This year's theme for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, chosen by Pope Francis, is very strong: “Called to sow seeds of hope and to build peace”.  We are all called, through different vocations, to be bearers of hope and peace. In his message, for this day, Pope Francis wrote: “hearing that divine call is the surest way for us to fulfill our deepest desire for happiness”. But how do we discover our personal vocation and thus decide whether to marry, or become a priest, or to totally consecrate our lives to God? 

I would like to tell you how I discovered my vocation. 

I was 18 years old, at the end of secondary school, and I had within me a great desire to fulfill my life in an authentic way. I had inside me the desire to be happy and to love, to give my life for something beautiful. I prayed to God frequently. The meeting with a Capuchin Franciscan Friar was decisive; his name was Father Emmanuel. I had met him almost by chance one day. I was struck by his way of praying, his way of loving people with a gratuitous love, capable of sharing people's joy and pain. I started to visit him and talk to him. Step by step, I understood that our first meeting was not by chance, but Jesus himself was speaking to my heart through the witness of this Friar. In this way, continuing to pray to God and dialogue with this Friar, I understood that through that encounter Jesus was calling me to follow him. And so, I joined the Capuchins.

The Lord calls us to follow him through the encounters that he plans in our life. That is an answer to the desire for happiness that we have in our hearts: following Jesus! 

There is nothing more beautiful than following Jesus and bringing his friendship to everyone! I invite each of you to look at your life with faith, recognizing the signs of God who calls us. Vocation is always a call of love.

 I say to everyone, and in particular the young people: do not be afraid to follow Jesus! And be source of hope and peacemakers in this world.