By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has invited everyone to mark the World Day of the Poor to be celebrated on Sunday, 18 November.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus, the Pope said that, for the occasion, a “First Aid Station” will be set up in the Square, where those in need will be able to receive medical care.
“I hope” he added, “that this Day will encourage greater attention to the needs of the least and the marginalized”.
Amongst the many organizations making sure the Day does not pass unnoticed is the Sovereign Order of Malta, whose core mission is to uphold human dignity and care for people in need.
Prince Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel, Grand Hospitaller of the Order of Malta, says each of us can find ways to celebrate the occasion by honouring the poor, the sick and the marginalized.
For over 900 years it has been the Order of Malta’s mission to reach out to people in need. The Grand Hospitaller pointed out that at the heart of the Order’s charism, through which members strive to grow spiritually, is the commitment to serve the poor.
In a world in which self-centeredness and selfishness often seem to be in the forefront, where the poor are increasingly neglected and deemed useless, Prince de La Rochefoucauld invites all men and women of goodwill to read Pope Francis’ Message for this second ‘World Day of the Poor’ in which, he says, “we are called to honour the poor and give them precedence, out of the conviction that they are a true presence of Jesus in our midst”.
Noting that Order of Malta members across the world have organized events and initiatives to celebrate this special day, he points out that the very foundation of the Order of Malta stems from the words of Jesus and on the actions of its members to take care for those in need, seeing Christ in each of them, and being grateful for the opportunity to follow His words that we know so well: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”