Pope Francis in Assisi during a visit ahead of the World Day of the Poor 

Vatican News staff writer

Nov 15 2021

In a video message Pope Francis greets believers across the world joined in prayer on this Fifth World Day of the Poor. Recorded in response to the Holy Father’s invitation to “Fratello”, an organization that serves the poor, to organize a global prayer initiative for the observance, the video message highlights how “the poor are the treasure of the Church”.

Pope Francis offered his greetings to participants from around the world gathered for the Fifth World Day of the Poor with a video message given in Spanish. The message comes on the occasion of a thirty-minute world prayer initiative for the World Day of Prayer, promoted by the organization Fratello, as a response to the Pope’s appeal for fraternity made last Friday during his visit to Assisi. It was shared on Fratello‘s Facebook page together with testimonies from around the world.

The Pope said he is very close to them and the work they do. He acknowledged the many very difficult situations the poor face, as heard in the testimonies given in Assisi on Friday regarding those suffering in prisons, slums, wars, abandonment, or isolation. The insecurity lived by most means every day not knowing if you will have a meal or where you will sleep, he lamented. 

He prayed that Mary, who fully welcomed the Holy Spirit, might give us peace and “protect us under her great mantle of tenderness”.

The Pope encouraged them to share the Good News, as Jesus needs them to help others, the poor, the little ones, the sick, the wounded in life, and to share the Gospel of his love with them. He also mentioned that we must all recognize ourselves as poor in different ways since we all are in need of God’s love to fill our own emptiness. “May the Lord help us to become very small, so that He can be great in us, grand!” 

He recalled the Gospel mandate for solidarity with all our brothers and sisters: “What you did to the least of these, you did to me.” and “Whoever welcomes this little one, this poor person, in my name he welcomes me.” The Pope said, “that is why we say that the poor are the treasure of the Church”.  

In conclusion, the Pope asked forgiveness in the name of all Christians who have hurt, ignored or humiliated the poor. He reminded us that every man and woman is a temple of God, and treasure of the Church. The poor belong not at the doors of our churches, but at the heart of our Church, as they are God’s treasure and among them are hidden saints, he added. He encouraged them to open their hearts to God’s love to be true witnesses to his love in the world. -Vatican News