To the Earth’s Ends — Day 18

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 1978

Today the pope issued an Apostolic Letter for the creation of an Apostolic Nunciature (equivalent to an embassy) in the Fiji Islands, which were once called “The Cannibal Isles.

When in 1844 Bishop Pompallier, Vicar Apostolic of Central Oceania, declared his intention of establishing a mission [on the Fiji Islands] he met with instant protest from the Christian chiefs of Wallis. “Fiji! But the devil’s children are there!”

Today, the islands’ inhabitants are almost entirely Christians, with Catholics being somewhat less than 10% of the population. The people of Fiji are a powerful illustration of why we should count no one as beyond the Gospel’s converting touch.

Pope Invited to the New World, but Staying Put for Now (Ottawa Journal)

Mario Cardinal Casariego of Guatemala invited Pope John Paul I Monday to visit Guatemala next year, Vatican sources report. The sources said Casariego made the

The Tomb of Pope Paul VI
The Tomb of Pope Paul VI

invitation at a private audience with the pope. The pontiff thanked him but did not immediately say if he could make the trip. Last week the pope said he was unable to accept an invitation to the Latin American bishops’ conference in Puebla, Mexico, next month because of the many commitments of the start of his pontificate. A trip by John Paul to Guatemala would be the first visit by a pope to Central America.

Today, Pope John Paul I also visited the grottoes beneath St. Peter’s Basilica. (AP) There he prayed at the tomb of Pope Paul VI. Even ten years ago (in 1968, just five years into his papacy) Paul VI was “the most-traveled pope in history of the Roman Catholic Church.” (UPI)

In which lands has the gospel been least proclaimed and what can we do to promote Christ there?

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