Human dignity at the heart of Pope’s World Day of the Poor message

Sunday 14th November 2021

Pope Francis has issued a call for “New Evangelisation” as the Catholic Church observes the fifth World Day of the Poor.

This year’s theme – “You will always have the poor with you” (Mark 14:7) – reveals a rich tapestry of teachings, including different types of poverty, the call to give and share what we have to give, our attitude towards each other, and the motivation behind giving.

Read the full message from Pope Francis for World Day of the Poor 2021.

Established by Pope Francis in 2017, the annual observance celebrated each November acts as reminder of Christ’s “preferential love for the poor”.

This theme is at the crux of the pontiff’s message for this year, reminding us that those living in poverty have “imprinted on them the face of our Saviour”.

Offering a word of comfort to all those who find themselves being pulled down by the grip of poverty, Pope Francis reminds us that through these struggles, we are united with Christ, and therefore able to offer a unique and powerful voice of evangelisation.

This “New Evangelisation” calls for a fresh dynamic in our global society; a mutual, reciprocal way of viewing ourselves, others, and our own unique place in the world.

Pope Francis said: “There are many forms of poverty among the “rich” that might be relieved by the wealth of the “poor”, if only they could meet and get to know each other!

“None are so poor that they cannot give something of themselves in mutual exchange. The poor cannot be only those who receive; they must be put in a position to give, because they know well how to respond with generosity. How many examples of sharing are before our eyes! The poor often teach us about solidarity and sharing.

“True, they may be people who lack some things, often many things, including the bare necessities, yet they do not lack everything, for they retain the dignity of God’s children that nothing and no one can take away from them.”

This God-given dignity is at the very heart of our Christian faith, reminding us of the worth we have as God’s children, made in His image and likeness, and of the inestimable value each and every person brings to our common home.

Pope Francis’ message this year urges us to lean on that mutual dignity, to learn from what others can teach and share with us from their own unique perspective to build a better world that rejects the accumulation of material wealth in favour of an equitable society with justice, empathy, and compassion at its heart.

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