The seventh edition of the World Day of the Poor will be held on Sunday, November 19, 2023. The initiative, first proposed in 2017, was intensely desired by Pope Francis to urge the Church to “go out” of its walls to encounter poverty in the many ways it manifests itself in today’s world.
This year’s motto, taken from the Book of Tobit (Tobias), is: “Do not turn your face away from any poor man” (Tobit 4:7); it was published, as usual, on the feast of Saint Anthony of Padua, June 13. As is traditional, the Message was accompanied with an aid in six languages, placed in the hands of the People of God so that, in the words of Monsignor Rino Fisichella, “The World Day is a permanent provocation for our communities to be attentive and welcoming with the neediest and those in difficulty,” adding that “on this path towards the 2025 Ordinary Jubilee, our attention to the neediest will make us Pilgrims of Hope in the world, which needs to be illuminated by the presence of the Light of the Risen Lord and by the torch of charity that He has lit in our hearts.”
This year, the World Day of the Poor will enjoy a more direct participation by the Dicastery for the Service of Charity. In fact, the Holy Father accepted the petition that the numerous gestures of charity, in the diocese of Rome, be carried out by the Dicastery for the Service of Charity together with the organization of the Lunch with the Poor, which Pope Francis will offer as ever in Paul VI Hall, after the Eucharistic Celebration. This year’s Lunch will be offered by the Hilton Hotels of Italy.
The Dicastery for the Service of Charity, also known as the Apostolic Almonry, offers throughout the year, through the Mother of Mercy Clinic, free health care to those living in situations of need. The Clinic, greatly desired by the Holy Father, is located in the colonnade of Saint Peter’s Square.
On the occasion of the World Day of the Poor, from November 13 to 18, the Clinic will extend its opening hours: from 08:00am to 05:00 pm. Some 50 doctors, nurses and volunteers will take turns in caring for the most fragile. The poor and needy will receive for free general and specialized medical examinations, ultrasounds, blood analyses, medications, vaccinations against flu, and COVID-19 swabs, as well as necessary medicines and therapies. Specialized examinations will include cardiology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, dentistry, otorhinolaryngology, rheumatology, general surgery, nephrology, audiology, psychiatry, vascular surgery, angiology, gastroenterology, gynaecology and chiropody.
The Dicastery for Evangelization will continue supporting other forms of aid to less well-off families, such as, for example, the payment of bills. For this charity we are grateful in particular for the generosity of UnipolSai, which never ceases to collaborate. As Pope Francis writes in his Message: “The World Day of the Poor, fecund sign of the Father’s mercy, arrives for the seventh time to support the path of our communities. It is an appointment that the Church is rooting progressively in its pastoral care, to discover ever more the central content of the Gospel. Every day we commit ourselves to receive the poor, but it is not enough. A river of poverty runs through our cities, which gets bigger and bigger until it overflows; that river seems to flood us, so much so that the cry of our brothers and sisters asking for help, support and solidarity becomes ever louder. Therefore, the Sunday before the feast of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we gather around His Table to receive from Him once again, the gift and commitment to live poverty and serve the poor. “