Sunday, november 19, the 7th World Day of the Poor
The seventh World Day of the Poor will be celebrated on Sunday, November 19, 2023. The initiative, first launched in 2017, was instituted by Pope Francis to urge the Church to "go beyond" its walls to encounter poverty in the multiple ways it manifests itself in today's world.
To mark the commemoration, Pope Francis will preside over a Eucharistic Celebration in St. Peter's Basilica at 10am. Those wishing to attend the Papal Mass are asked to fill out a ticket reservation form on the Dicastery's website at:
This year's motto, taken from the book of Tobit, is "Do not turn your eyes away from the poor" (Tb 4:7). It was published as usual on the feast of St. Anthony of Padua on June 13. As per tradition, the Message is accompanied by a pastoral guide, in six languages, which is offered to the people of God, so that, in the words of Archbishop Rino Fisichella, "the World Day of the Poor may represent a constant reminder for our communities to be attentive and welcoming to those who find themselves in the greatest need and difficulty." He added: "On this journey toward the Jubilee Year of 2025, may our attention to those most in need make us all become Pilgrims of Hope in the world that needs illumination from the Light of the Risen One and the torch of charity that He has lit in our hearts."
The pastoral guide prepared for World Day of the Poor is available free of charge on the website, in various languages, at:
This year's World Day of the Poor will see a more direct participation of the Dicastery for the Service of Charity. The Holy Father has accepted a request that the many charitable activities of the Diocese of Rome should be carried out by the Dicastery for the Service of Charity along with the organization of the lunch with the Poor that Pope Francis will host as always in the Paul VI Audience Hall after the Mass. The lunch this year will be offered by Hilton Hotels in Italy.
The Dicastery for the Service of Charity, also known as the Apostolic Almonry, works with the Mother of Mercy Outpatient Clinic, a service set up at the request of the Holy Father in the Colonnade in St Peter's Square, which offers free health care throughout the year to those living rough or in conditions of extreme poverty.
To mark the World Day of the Poor, from Nov. 13 to 18, the health facility will extend its opening hours, remaining open every day from 8 am to 5 pm There will be about 50 doctors, nurses and volunteers available who will take turns caring for the most needy.
Free care will be provided to the poor and needy and both general and specialist examinations will be available, along with ultrasound scans, blood tests, dressings, flu vaccinations and COVID-19 tests. Essential medications and therapies will also be provided. Specialist services available will also include cardiology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dentistry, otolaryngology, rheumatology, general surgery, nephrology, audiology, psychiatry, vascular surgery, angiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, and podiatry.
The Dicastery for Evangelization will continue to support other forms of help for less well-off families, through, for example, payment of utility bills. For this charity, special thanks are given to the generosity of UnipolSai, which never fails to cooperate.
As Pope Francis writes in his Message: "The World Day of the Poor, a fruitful sign of the Father's mercy, comes for the seventh time to support the ongoing journey of our communities. It is an annual appointment that is progressively taking root in her pastoral ministry, helping the Church to discover more and more the central content of the Gospel. Every day we are committed to welcoming the poor, yet it is not enough. A river of poverty flows through our cities and gets bigger and bigger until it overflows; that river seems to overwhelm us, so much so that the cry of brothers and sisters who ask for help, support and solidarity grows louder and louder. Therefore, on the Sunday before the Feast of Christ the King of the Universe, we gather around His table to receive from Him again the gift and commitment to live poverty and to serve the poor."