In the northeast side of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre complex, there is a small, quiet chapel, where few pilgrims visit. It is not as ornately decorated as other chapels in the Church. Originally its own structure, during the mid-12th century, when the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was under Crusader rule, the small chapel was incorporated into the larger building, where it was redesigned and expanded. It is in this space that tradition says that Jesus Christ was imprisoned before His Crucifixion.
It is difficult to think of Jesus Christ, true Man and true God, imprisoned like a common criminal. But Our Lord (and most of His Apostles) were indeed prisoners, behind bars and incarcerated.
In Matthew 25, Our Lord speaks of His return in glory to judge all peoples and nations. To those who will inherit Heaven, He says, “I was in prison and you visited me.” In response, the people say, “When did we see in prison and visit you?” Our Lord responds, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Every Catholic has the spiritual duty to serve those who are imprisoned. One of the Corporal Works of Mercy is visiting and ministering to those in prison. No matter what a person’s guilt, each deserves the opportunity to hear the Word of God and find the Truth of the message of Christ.
While this seems like a difficult thing to do, with MISSIO you can help minister to those imprisoned, no matter where you are, without ever stepping into a prison.
In Rwanda, in the prison of Musanze, there are 1,600 prisoners incarcerated. Because of the prison’s rules – something as simple as needing a uniform to leave one’s prison cell – a majority of the prisoners are unable to attend Holy Mass. The local Diocese of Ruhengeri has built a chapel for the prisoners, but must raise additional funds to complete the project, and to purchase uniforms as well. This is YOUR opportunity to visit and minister to “the least of Christ’s brothers” in prison. When He comes again in glory to judge, and asks if you visited Him in prison, what will you be able to say? With MISSIO, the answer can be, “Yes!”
To provide a tool to help visit “the least of these” in prison, and create other opportunities to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, The Pontifical Mission Societies have created MISSIO, a new and innovative Catholic crowd-funding platform that allows you to directly help provide aid for the poorest of areas.
MISSIO allows you to search through vital charity projects – ones providing for basic needs, education, safety, and others extending the Good News of the Gospel to remote areas.
Launched by Pope Francis himself, the MISSIO platform offers a direct connection to change-makers who work on the “front lines” making a difference for the poor and marginalized through direct, daily service.
Choose one of these missions of Pope Francis, and donate directly to them, knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly there. Share them on social media so others can support the projects also.
MISSIO is powered by The Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe.
Check out MISSIO today and start giving!