Wars, famine and calamities of every kind can tempt Christians to a paralyzing fear that the world is about to end; what they must do instead is act, even in a small way, to make the world a better place, Pope Francis said.
In his homily at a Mass for the World Day of the Poor Nov. 14, the pontiff said that true Christian hope is not “the naive, even adolescent optimism of those who hope things may change” but is instead built daily through concrete gestures that manifest “the kingdom of love, justice and fraternity that Jesus inaugurated.”
With a mix of awe and excitement, pilgrims from many parts of Europe conquered the exhaustion of a long road trip and prepared to celebrate the World Day of the Poor with Pope Francis.
With a pilgrim’s staff and mantle, Pope Francis entered Assisi’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels with 500 economically or socially disadvantaged people and the volunteers who walk alongside them. The pontiff’s pilgrimage to Assisi Nov. 12 was dedicated totally to the poor in preparation for the celebration Nov. 14 of the World Day of the Poor.
Pope Francis plans to prepare for his celebration of the World Day of the Poor by meeting with and listening to some 500 poor people making a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, Nov. 12.
Even during a global pandemic, the World Day of the Poor will be an important opportunity for parishes to highlight the importance of charity and spiritual comfort for those in need, said a Vatican official.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio has written to all pastors and administrators in the diocese asking that they observe Pope Francis’ request to celebrate Sunday, Nov. 19, as the First World Day of the Poor.