In announcing this day to be marked each year on 19 November, Pope Francis asked that the day would become “a powerful appeal to our consciences as believers, allowing us to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel”.
This day powerfully reminds us that “the poor are not a problem: they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practise in our lives the essence of the Gospel.”
Pope Francis asks that all in the Church will take some action to help make this World Day of the Poor a tradition that concretely contributes to evangelization in today’s world. He plans to celebrate Eucharist on 19 November with some of those in need and their supporters and has invited 500 people to lunch within the Vatican.
He also reminds us that prayer should always be at the heart of all the many concrete initiatives we may take. He says, ” Let us not forget that the Our Father is the prayer of the poor. Our asking for bread expresses our entrustment to God for our basic needs in life. Everything that Jesus taught us in this prayer expresses and brings together the cry of all who suffer from life’s uncertainties and the lack of what they need. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he answered in the words with which the poor speak to our one Father, in whom all acknowledge themselves as brothers and sisters. The Our Father is a prayer said in the plural: the bread for which we ask is “ours”, and that entails sharing, participation and joint responsibility. In this prayer, all of us recognize our need to overcome every form of selfishness, in order to enter into the joy of mutual acceptance.”
Brigidine Sisters continue to respond to these challenges through our various ministries around the world and through our individual and community prayer.
To read the full text of Pope Francis’ address announcing the First World Day of the Poor click on the following link: