As August kicks off, Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to pray for small and medium-sized businesses, so that "in the midst of economic and social crisis, they find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”
The Pope released his monthly prayer intention on Tuesday in a video prepared by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.
In the message, he recognizes the "courage, effort and sacrifice" of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, and acknowledges that they are among the most affected by "the grave socio-economic crisis," brought to new heights by wars and the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
According to statistics for 2021 from the World Bank, one in four companies lost half of their volume of sales because of the global pandemic. Further exacerbating their reality is that they do not receive adequate public assistance.
Constant sacrifices and hard work to help others
In his video message, the Pope praised those who through their workshops or shops “invest in life," by "generating well-being, opportunities and work.”
The Holy Father acknowledged their hard work and constant sacrifices made, in order to invest in the common good.
“Stores, workshops, cleaning businesses, transportation businesses, and so many others. The ones that don’t appear on the world’s richest and most powerful lists, and despite the difficulties, they create jobs, fulfilling their social responsibility.”
The Holy Father concluded his video message remembering the value of small businesses.
“Let us pray for small and medium-sized businesses, hard hit by the economic and social crisis, so they may find ways to continue operating, and serving their communities.”
The 'great importance' of small businesses
Father Federic Fornos, S.J., the International Director of the Pope's Worldwide Network, reflected on the intention.
“The crises that we are going through, are—as the Pope says—a ‘Noah moment,’" he said, are "an opportunity to build something different. In this sense, small and medium-sized businesses are of great importance, with their creative force and their capacity to contribute solutions from the bottom up."
“Without them, it would not have been possible to make it through the COVID crisis, and they continue to be necessary now. This is why it is important to pray for them.”
Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network and Pope Video
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church.
Founded in 1844 as the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network currently is present in 89 countries and is made up of more than 22 million Catholics.
The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father's monthly prayer intentions.