Vatican presents pope's message for Third World Day of the Poor: they are not parasites of society

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Pope Francis published his new message for the Third World Day of the Poor, which will be held on Nov. 17. This year's motto is from Psalms, “The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.”

The pope says today there are “many new forms of bondage that enslave millions of men, women, young people and children.” He strongly criticizes the fact that the poor are treated as 'garbage' or “parasites of society who are not even forgiven for their poverty.”

According to Msgr. Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, the pope's message is a challenge for all to rediscover the poor in their lives. It is also a request for all believers to be a concrete sign of hope, who not only offer food to the poor, but their presence. 

President, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

“What is more important is our presence, is our solidarity. It is our help in order to discover for us what is essential for the Gospel.”

This year the Vatican will once again, during a week in mid-November, set up a mobile hospital in St. Peter's Square for the poor. Last year they provided 3,000 medical treatments, 203 of which were for diseases such as HIV. 

According to Graham Bell, it is not only the Vatican committed to World day for the Poor, but many others across the globe.

Under-secretary, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

“For example, in Europe, the Archdiocese of Westminster has successfully invited schools and parishes to take initiatives to help the poor.”

“In Germany, the Archdiocese of Berlin hosted a banquet for the homeless and for the vulnerable people in the city at the Cathedral of St. Hedwig. It was closed for restoration, but opened for this occasion. The archbishop welcomed around 300 guests and 140 volunteers from local parishes.”

Pope Francis will conclude the third World Day of the Poor with a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica as well as a lunch with 1,500 poor people in Paul VI Audience Hall. 

In his message, he used Jean Vanier as an example, referring to him as a “great apostle of the poor.” He recently passed away and dedicated his life to taking care of people with disabilities and founded the L'Arche community. 

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