Pope Francis asks for "deeds not words" for the first World Day of the Poor

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This was one of the images from the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis wanted to surround himself with the poor, homeless and marginalized, with whom he had issued a public apology to, for the daily indifference they endure.   

'I apologize for all the times that Christians, when in front of a poor person or when a poor person is near, look the other way. I'm sorry.'  

He later said that this meeting led him to promote a new initiative: an entire day dedicated to the poor celebrated by the Church.   

This year it will be on November 19, and today the Vatican presented Pope Francis' message as well as the event's title: 'Let us love, not with words, but with deeds.'

In his message, he recalls the centrality of poverty in the Church, and asks for concrete facts that demonstrate the preferential option of each Christian for the poor.

President, Pontifical Council New Evangelization
'He says that we should not just give alms or embrace. The pope, since the beginning of his pontificate, has said this expression: 'one must touch the flesh of Christ.''  

Pope Francis also denounced the indifferences to the poor that are caused by consumerism, as well as the social injustices that are provoked by greed.   

Secretary, Pontifical Council New Evangelization
'Every Christian and every community, the pope says, are called to be instruments of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, so that they can be fully integrated into society. This requires everyone's commitment'.  

On this day, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in the Vatican and start a new tradition: every year from now on, 500 poor or homeless will have lunch in the Paul VI Audience Hall. Pope Francis will be present this year. The rest of those in need, who participated in the event, will be able to eat for free in other establishments that are part of the initiative.  

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