In the last Pope Video of the year, Pope Francis asks the faithful to pray for volunteer organizations and all those who work in them.
The Holy Father encourages volunteer organizations and volunteers to continue in their labor promoting human dignity and the common good, working “not just for the people, but with the people, being close to them, and listening to their needs.”
“It means being artisans of mercy: with our hands, with our eyes, with an attentive ear, with our closeness.”
Furthermore, the Pope asks to pray that these organizations and volunteers may “find people willing to commit to the common good and ceaselessly seek out new paths of international cooperation.”
Pope: volunteers bear witness to the Gospel
The December Pope Video highlights the work of countless volunteers and organizations around the world who often work without visibility or recognition.
According to the United Nations Volunteers program (UNV) 1 out of every 9 people in the world volunteer, with a total of 862.4 million volunteers in the world.
In many countries across the globe, volunteer organizations are based on Christian values, seeking to bear witness to the Gospel through their work.
The Pope Video showcases these organizations that aid people suffering from a wide range of crises, including natural disasters, economic crises, and hunger.
“Being a volunteer who helps others is a choice that makes us free; it opens us to other people’s needs — to the demands of justice, to the defense of the poor, to the care of creation.”
The importance of solidarity and collaboration
In the video, Pope Francis also shares the key aspects he believes should characterize volunteer organizations, including closeness, solidarity, the ability to listen, and the total giving of oneself.
The Pope also stresses the importance of collaboration and cooperation between volunteer organizations and the State, saying: “By working together they do their best and make the miracle of the multiplication of hope a reality.”
Fr. Frédéric Fornos, S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said this prayer intention shows the Pope’s attention placed on the importance of volunteer work for society.
In volunteering, according to Pope Francis in his May 2022 prayer intention, the Christian image of “God and man is involved: the love of God and love of neighbor” as “Jesus invites us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.”
Within these moments of crisis in our society, the Pope concluded, volunteers are essential: “The world needs volunteers.”