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Pope Francis joins 1300 guests for lunch in the Vatican audience hall on the World Day of the Poor in 2022 (CNS/Remo Casilli, Reuters)

Ahead of the eighth World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis has urged Christians around the world to share in the suffering of the poor and to commune with them through the act of prayer. Source: CNA.

The Holy Father established the World Day of the Poor in 2016 at the end of the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy. The day is celebrated each year on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, a week before the feast of Christ the King. This year, the observance will fall on November 17.

In a letter to the faithful yesterday, the Pope pointed toward the Book of Sirach. The author of that book, Ben Sira, discovered through prayer that “the poor hold a privileged place in God’s heart”, according to the Pope. 

“God knows the sufferings of his children because he is an attentive and caring father,” Francis wrote. “As a father, he takes care of those who are most in need: the poor, the marginalised, the suffering, and the forgotten.”

Drawing on familiar themes of his pontificate, Francis warned against pursuing worldly goods and fame at the cost of the dignity of others. 

“The mentality of the world demands that we become somebody, that we make a name for ourselves at any cost, breaking social norms in order to accumulate wealth,” he said. “How sad of an illusion this is!”

In January, Pope Francis announced the start of a Year of Prayer in preparation for the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year. The yearlong observance, he said yesterday, underscores the need “to make the prayer of the poor our own and pray together with them.”

“The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments, and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith,” the Pope said. 


Christians are called to be friends of the poor, pope says in message (By Daniel Payne, CNA)


Pope: The Lord’s judgment will be in favour of the poor (Vatican News)