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‘The poor you will always have with you’: Pope Francis issues message for World Day of the Poor

June 15, 2021

Pope Francis called on the faithful to recognize the poor Christ in the poor, to embrace a lifestyle characterized by fraternal sharing rather than the accumulation of wealth, and to encounter the poor personally.

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The challenge came in his Message for the 5th World Day of the Poor, entitled “The poor you will always have with you” (Mk 14:7). The message was dated June 13 (the memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of the poor) and made public the following day.

Pope Francis instituted the World Day of the Poor as the Jubilee of Mercy (2015-16) drew to a close. The day is commemorated on the Sunday before the Solemnity of Christ the King; in 2021, it will take place on November 14.

Frequently citing Sacred Scripture in his message, Pope Francis also quoted Origen, St. John Chrysostom, and Don Primo Mazzolari (1890-1959).

“It is my hope that the celebration of the World Day of the Poor, now in its fifth year, will grow in our local Churches and inspire a movement of evangelization that meets the poor personally wherever they may be,” the Pope wrote in the message’s final section. “We cannot wait for the poor to knock on our door; we need urgently to reach them in their homes, in hospitals and nursing homes, on the streets and in the dark corners where they sometimes hide, in shelters and reception centers.”

“The poor are present in our midst,” he added. “How evangelical it would be if we could say with all truth: we too are poor, because only in this way will we truly be able to recognize them, to make them part of our lives and an instrument of our salvation.”

 


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