“May this 2022 World Day of the Poor be for us a moment of grace. May it enable us to make a personal and communal examination of conscience and to ask ourselves whether the poverty of Jesus Christ is our faithful companion in life.” – Pope Francis
This Sunday, November 13, 2022, the Catholic Church marks the Sixth World Day of the Poor. This year’s theme is “For your sakes Christ became poor.”
World Day of the Poor was established by Pope Francis in 2017 and has been celebrated each year on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The aim of World Day of the Poor is to encourage Catholics to go into the streets and encounter poverty in its different forms. As Vincentians, we are called to help those in need, no matter where they are. The Home Visit, as many know, is the hallmark of the Society’s work. Vincentians go out and meet their neighbors in need wherever they may be. Sometimes that is in a home, but not always. We do not judge or discriminate based on someone’s living situation. During Home Visits, Vincentians strive to make their neighbors in need as comfortable as possible. They bring hope, empathy, and compassion, in addition to financial support, food, clothes, and other forms of support.
Each year, Pope Francis releases a letter in honor of World Day of the Poor. In this year’s message, Pope Francis reminds us that helping those in need has been central to the Catholic faith. He cites St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. In that letter, St. Paul asks the local Christian community to hold a special collection for those that are hungry. This year, Pope Francis unveiled a new sculpture entitled, “Sheltering,” in St. Peter’s Square that highlights the plight of the homeless. The statue was created by Canadian sculptor, Timothy Schmalz, and seeks to promote the Vincentian Family’s “13 Houses Campaign” to provide material and spiritual help to people suffering from homelessness.
Prayer for World Day of the Poor
By: Tim Williams, National Vincentian Formation Director
Lord, give me eyes that see the poor;
Especially the strangers… the invisible.
Give me ears that hear their cries of need;
Of hunger, thirst, or loneliness.
Give me a heart that will love them
In word and in deed, as You have loved me.
Give me hands that are willing to work
To feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless,
To welcome the stranger.