The logo is composed of three elements: THE CROSS (which symbolizes the centrality of the dead and resurrected Christ in the life of our martyrs), THE FLAME (which evokes the “Definition of a Missionary”: is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set everyone on fire with God’s love) and THE PALM (which is a traditional symbol of Christian martyrdom).
The three elements are intertwined, forming one sole element. The same love for Christ that drove our martyrs to embrace the missionary life (Caritas Christi urget nos) is what sustains them in the battle of martyrdom and crowns them with the palm of the victors.
The colors also have a meaning: the gold of the cross alludes to the triumph of Christ over death; the red of the flame symbolizes the fire of love (“The most necessary virtue for the missionary is love”); the green of the palm connects us with the nature redeemed by Christ and opens us to the hope of his resurrection.
The motto chosen is: Missionaries to the end. It is a short, incisive slogan, focusing on the core of the experience of our martyrs, and easily expressible in various languages.
The word MISSIONARIES, written in capital letters, sums up our charismatic identity. Before mentioning our official title, the Constitutions open with these words: “Our Congregation of Missionaries” (n.1). Our martyrs lived with intensity the vocation that this word – missionaries – synthesizes. They knew that they were sent by God and anointed by the Holy Spirit to follow Jesus Christ in the communion of life, going through the whole world to proclaim the Gospel to every creature (cf CC 4).
On the other hand, the motto wants to connect the beatification of our 109 martyrs (2017) with the XXV General Chapter (2015), which reaffirmed our missionary vocation in the Church: Missionarii sumus (Cf. MS 1 and conclusion). As missionaries, we are called to be witnesses and messengers of the joy of the Gospel. There is, then, a clear continuity that impels us to live more authentically our missionary vocation in the People of God.
The expression “until the end”, written in red cursive letters, evokes a missionary life carried to its ultimate consequences: giving one’s life for Christ. In this case, the red color symbolizes the blood of our martyrs, poured out like Christ. Red blood and red flame allude to the love that gave full meaning to the lives of our martyrs.
The Gospel of John opens the so-called “book of glory” with these words: “Having [Jesus] loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Jn 13: 1). This is the evangelical background that gives its true meaning to the phrase used in our motto.