THIRD WORLD DAY OF THE POOR
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
17 November 2019
The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation released a press statement ahead of the 3rd World Day of the Poor, announcing the temporary walk-in-clinic in St Peter’s Square, just as there was last year. The clinic aims to offer medical attention to those most in need and will be open from 8am-10pm every day, offering free medical examinations to the poor.
Last year over 3,500 people were tended to by doctors and nurses. The clinic will open on Sunday the 10th of November and will remain so until Sunday the 17th.
In addition, Pope Francis will preside over Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on that same Sunday. Afterwards, he will have lunch in the Paul VI hall with over 1,500 poor people from Rome and throughout the Lazio region.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS (Excerpt)
The hope of the poor shall not perish forever
9. At times, very little is needed to restore hope. It is enough to stop for a moment, smile and listen. For once, let us set statistics aside – the poor are not statistics to cite when boasting of our works and projects. The poor are persons to be encountered, they are lonely, young and old, to be invited to our homes to share a meal, men women and children who look for a friendly word. The poor save us because they enable us to encounter the face of Jesus Christ.
In the eyes of the world, it seems illogical to think that poverty and need can possess saving power. Yet that is the teaching of the Apostle, who tells us: “Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no-one might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor 1:26-29). Looking at things from a human standpoint, we fail to see this saving power but with the eyes of faith, we see it at work and experience it personally. In the heart of the pilgrim People of God, there beats that saving power which excludes no-one and involves everyone, in a real journey pilgrimage of conversion, to recognise the poor and to love them.
10. The Lord does not abandon those who seek Him and call upon His name: “He does not forget the cry of the poor” (Ps 9:12), for His ears are attentive to their voice. The hope of the poor defies deadly situations, for the poor know that they are especially loved by God and this is stronger than any suffering or exclusion. Poverty does not deprive them of their God-given dignity; they live in the certainty that it will be fully restored to them by God Himself, who is not indifferent to the lot of His lowliest sons and daughters. On the contrary, He sees their struggles and sorrows, He takes them by the hand and He gives them strength and courage (cf. Ps 10:14). The hope of the poor is confirmed in the certainty that their voice is heard by the Lord, that in Him they will find true justice, that their hearts will be strengthened and continue to love (cf. Ps 10:17).
If the disciples of the Lord Jesus wish to be genuine evangelisers, they must sow tangible seeds of hope. I ask all Christian communities and all those who feel impelled to offer hope and consolation to the poor, to help ensure that this World Day of the Poor will encourage more and more people to cooperate effectively so that no one will feel deprived of closeness and solidarity. May you always treasure the words of the prophet who proclaims a different future: “For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings” (Mal 3:20 [4:2]).
Pope Francis Full Message here: