World Day of the Poor: Pope Francis Calls for Friendship and Prayer

In anticipation of the the World Day of the Poor on November 17th, Pope Francis urged Christians worldwide to empathize with the suffering of the poor and to connect with them through prayer.

Established in 2016 at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, this annual observance, held every 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, aims to remind us of the marginalized and forgotten members of society.

Wisdom from the Book of Sirach
In his recent letter to the faithful, Pope Francis drew inspiration from the Book of Sirach, highlighting the importance of prayer in recognizing the special place the poor hold in God’s heart.

“God knows the sufferings of his children because he is an attentive and caring Father,” the Pope wrote, emphasizing God’s care for those in need.

Rejecting Worldly Values

In line with his recurring message, the Pope cautioned against the pursuit of material wealth and fame at the expense of others’ dignity. He lamented the “sad illusion” of chasing societal recognition through unethical means.

A Year of Prayer for the Poor

The Pope’s announcement of a Year of Prayer leading up to the 2025 Jubilee Year further underscores the significance of embracing the prayer of the poor and praying alongside them. He stressed the deep faith often found among the poor and the importance of offering them friendship, spiritual guidance, and support.

Strength in Vulnerability

Acknowledging their receptiveness to God’s grace, the Pope noted that the poor, lacking worldly possessions, often find strength and trust in God.

Inspired by Mother Teresa

The Pope drew attention to the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who devoted her life to serving the poor and found solace in prayer. He quoted her words, “By praying, Jesus puts his love in my heart, and I go to give it to all the poor I meet along the way.”

Pilgrims of Hope

Looking forward to the Jubilee Year, the Pope  encouraged the faithful to follow Jesus’ example by demonstrating solidarity with those in need, to become “pilgrims of hope” in the lead-up to the 2025 Jubilee Year, and to offer material and spiritual assistance to the poor.

(By Luis Angelo Sta. Maria/Volunteer Writer-San Felipe Neri Parish)

 

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