As the Church prepares to celebrate the 6th World Day of the Poor on Sunday, the Dicastery for Evangelization is organizing a number of initiatives to reach the poor and raise awareness about poverty.
By Vatican News reporter
On Sunday, November 13, 2022, the Church celebrates the sixth World Day of the Poor, under the theme “Christ became poor because of you”, taken from the words of the Apostle Paul to the first Christians of Corinth (2 Cor 8, 9). .
The Day was instituted by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Miser”, to celebrate the end of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Since 2017, it has been celebrated annually on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Going out to encounter poverty
Its purpose is to encourage the Church to “go out” in the streets to encounter poverty in its various forms.
In this year’s message for the Day, Pope Francis reminds us that from the earliest times of the Church, attention to the needs of the poor has been a characteristic of the Christian community, as Saint Paul showed in his letter to the Corinthians. In this letter, the Apostle asks the local Christian community to make a special collection for the community of Jerusalem, which is suffering great difficulties due to food shortage, as “a sign of love, the love shown by Jesus himself”.
Papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica
As in previous editions, Pope Francis will preside over a Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica with the privileged participation of the poor and other faithful who so wish. At the end of the celebration, 1,300 poor people will be offered a festive meal in the Paul VI hall.
Ahead of the celebration, the Dicastery for Evangelization, charged by the Pope with promoting the event, has organized various initiatives in the Vatican and Rome that will take place throughout the week.
Free medical care and screenings
These include free medical examinations in mobile clinics and the distribution of medicine to the poor in Rome. There will also be a motorhome equipped to carry out tests for hepatitis C, HIV and tuberculosis. The project is carried out thanks to the help of CUAMM missionary doctors, doctors from the PTV Policlinico Tor Vergata Foundation, the Corps of Volunteer Nurses of the Red Cross, the BIOS Group, volunteers from the Italian charity Misericordia, the Italian Society of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Diseases (SIMIT) and the Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Care (SIMG). As for the clinical tests, they are provided by the company GILEAD.
Food baskets for 5,000 poor families in Rome
5,000 food boxes with food items donated by an Italian market chain will also be delivered across Rome to parish priests who have requested them for local families.
Financial support to help pay the bills
In addition, during the week, when the energy crisis will worsen the conditions of poverty that many families already endure, electricity and gas bills will be paid to reduce the financial burden on those who struggle the most.