At the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis established the World Day of the Poor, so that throughout the world Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need among us, and that the poor may be considered as an integral part of our communities with a special role to play within them.
This day will be dedicated to the neediest. Moreover, the poor are invited to take an active part in the lives of our local communities.
“We are called, then, to draw near to the poor, to encounter them, to meet their gaze, to embrace them and to let them feel the warmth of love that breaks through their solitude. Their outstretched hand is also an invitation to step out of our certainties and comforts and to acknowledge the value of poverty in itself” – Pope Francis
This initiative by the Holy Father is of particular importance for Caritas Internationalis and its member organizations. The Pope has already reminded us that Caritas is “the caress of the Mother Church to her children, her tenderness and her closeness,” for those who suffer and for all those left behind.
The objective of this day is to mobilize Christian communities and people of good will, so that they can show their solidarity with and awareness of the requirements of their brothers and sisters who are in need by supporting the many actions of Caritas in the field of humanitarian assistance and human promotion with their generous and varied contributions.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Chisinau with Caritas Moldova supports the initiative of Pope Francis and have prepared an action plan that involves parish communities and local Caritas’s to celebrate the first World Day of the Poor:
- Dissemination of the Message of Pope Francis in all Christian communities;
- Celebration of the Holy Mass on the World Day of the Poor to pray together for the poor;
- Organizing charitable activities – collecting and distributing food to the poor;
- Visiting the elderly and bedridden patients;
In preparation for the celebration of the first World Day of the Poor we can remind ourselves of the advice Paul received from James, Peter and John (Gal 2:10). “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”