Rome (Italy). On 6 January 2023, on the Solemnity of the Epiphany, the manifestation of Jesus to all peoples, World Missionary Childhood Day is celebrated, today called World Missionary Day for Children (GMMR).

The WMD is an opportunity to support children from all over the world, without distinction or particulars, through the Universal Solidarity Fund of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which missionaries can access for works for the benefit of the little ones.

What is the Society of the Holy Childhood?

The Society of Holy Childhood, is one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, present in more than 130 countries around the world, with the motto: “Children evangelize children, children pray for children, children help children all over the world.”

What are its origins?

In the mid-nineteenth century, Msgr. Charles de Forbin-Janson, a French Bishop, struck by the news arriving from French missionaries in China regarding the numerous children who died without having received baptism, had the idea of involving the children of France so that, through prayer and material collaboration, they could help their Chinese peers. “An Ave Maria a day, a penny a month” to take care of a child and save a soul, was the commitment proposed by the Bishop of Nancy to French children.

It was 19 May 1843, and with this initiative the seed was sown from which the Work would sprout. Years later, the motto “children help children” was coined, which well summarizes the intuition of the founder and the charism of the work which in a short time, spread from France to Belgium, Spain, Italy, and many other Nations.

The Christian communities became aware of the missionary strength of the children and on 3 May 1922, Pope Pius XI aware of the great contribution that the Society had made to the missions in about eighty years, recognized it as Pontifical.

On 4 December 1950, Pope Pius XII instituted World Holy Childhood Day, declaring Epiphany Day as the date of celebration.

What are the objectives of the Pontifical Missionary Society of Holy Childhood?

The Missionary Childhood Society aims to help children develop a missionary spirit and protagonism; encourages them to share faith and material means especially with the neediest children; promotes and supports missionary vocations ad gentes. It is also a tool for growth in faith, also from a vocational perspective, and helps educators to progressively awaken universal missionary awareness in children.

Today there are millions of ‘little missionaries’ distributed in parishes, schools, and movements on five continents who, through prayer, the offering of their small sacrifices, and missionary witness, contribute concretely to ensuring that many children can eat, study, have a roof to sleep under, take care of themselves, get to know Jesus and the Word.

“The mission is done together” is the slogan of World Mission Day for Children 2023 which, starting from the verse “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8), focuses on the protagonism of children, who together in synodal style, carry out a just world, as the artisans do when they create their works. Only together with Jesus and the others, can we ‘form’ a more beautiful world.

On this theme, the Missio Foundation – Pastoral Organization of the CEI (Italian Episcopal Conference) has prepared the material for the animation and paryer of World Mission Day for Children 2023.


  1. Thank you very much for the information. I am from Ghana, the Northern part, and we want to reform the Missionary Childhood Associate. Only getting asses to material is difficult.

  2. Que alegria, sostenere con Ntra oracion. Por Los mas pequenos, q llevan la semilla del Anuncio. Con carino Sor Aida.


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