SUNDAY 19 NOVEMBER
7TH EDITION OF THE
WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
On Sunday 19 November 2023 the seventh edition of the World Day of the Poor will be held. The initiative, proposed for the first time in 2017, was strongly desired by Pope Francis to urge the Church to “come out” of its own walls to encounter poverty in the multiple guises in which it manifests itself in today's world.
For the occasion, Pope Francis will preside over the Eucharistic Celebration in Saint Peter’s Basilica at 10.00. Those who wish to participate in the Mass are required to complete the ticket booking form on the Dicastery website at: http://www.evangelizatio.va/content/pcpne/it/attivita/gmdp/2023/biglietti.html
This year's motto, taken from the book of Tobias: "Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor" (Tb 4:7), was published as usual on the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua on 13 June. As per tradition, the Message is accompanied by a guide, in six languages, which is placed in the hands of the people of God, so that, in the words of Archbishop Rino Fisichella: "The World Day may represent a permanent provocation for our communities to be attentive and welcoming to those in greatest need and difficulty". He continued: "On this journey towards the Ordinary Jubilee of 2025, may our attention to those most in need make us all Pilgrims of hope in the world that needs to be illuminated by the presence of the Light of the Risen Lord and the torch of charity that He has lit in our hearts".
The pastoral guide for preparation for the World Day is available free of charge on the site, in various languages, at:
This year, the World Day of the Poor will involve more direct participation from the Dicastery for the Service of Charity. Indeed, the Holy Father has accepted the request that the many gestures of charity in the diocese of Rome be performed by the Dicastery for the Service of Charity together with the organization of the lunch for the poor, to be hosted by Pope Francis as usual in the Paul VI Hall after the Eucharistic celebration. This year’s lunch will be offered by Hilton Hotels in Italy.
The Dicastery for the Service of Charity, also known as the Office of the Almoner of His Holiness, via the Madre di Misericordia Clinic, a facility established by the Holy Father in the colonnade of Saint Peter’s Square, offers free healthcare to those who live in situations of destitution, throughout the entire year. On the occasion of the World Day of the Poor, from 13 to 18 November, the health facility will observe extended hours, remaining open every day from 8.00 to 17.00. There will be around fifty doctors, nurses and volunteers who will take turns to care for the most fragile. General medicine and specialist examinations, ultrasound scans, blood tests, medication, flu vaccinations and COVID-19 swabs will be provided free of charge to the poor and needy. The necessary medicines and therapies will also be provided. Specialist examinations will also include cardiology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, dentistry, otolaryngology, rheumatology, general surgery, nephrology, audiology, psychiatry, vascular surgery, angiology, gastroenterology, gynaecology and podiatry.
The Dicastery for Evangelization will continue to support other forms of aid for poor families, for example, the payment of bills. For this charity we thank in particular the generosity of UnipolSai, which never fails to cooperate.
As Pope Francis writes in his Message: “World Day of the Poor is a fruitful sign of the Father’s mercy and a support for the lives of our communities. As its celebration becomes more and more rooted in the pastoral life of the Church, it enables us to discover ever anew the heart of the Gospel. Our daily efforts to welcome the poor are still not enough. A great river of poverty is traversing our cities and swelling to the point of overflowing; it seems to overwhelm us, so great are the needs of our brothers and sisters who plead for our help, support and solidarity. For this reason, on the Sunday before the Solemnity of Jesus Christ King of the Universe, we gather around his Table to receive from him once more the gift and strength to live lives of poverty and to serve the poor”.