200 participants from the south-west of France will be attending the 7th World Day of the Poor in Lourdes on Sunday 19th November 2023, accompanied by the Sanctuary’s “Place and Word of the Poor” group, and the Fratello, Réseau St Laurent and Secours Catholique groups. Pope Francis tells us, “On the Sunday before the feast of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, we gather around his Table to receive anew from Him the gift and commitment of living in poverty and serving the poor.”
How to live out the World Day of the Poor
Saturday 18th November
12 noon: Welcome, settling in and picnic lunch at the Accueil Notre-Dame.
2:00 pm: Cenacolo show
3:30 pm: Rosary at the Grotto
Time for sharing
6:45pm: Dinner at the Accueil Notre-Dame
8:00 pm: Prayer vigil at the Rosary Basilica
Sunday 19th November
10.00 am: Mass at the Grotto of Massabielle, in the presence of Fr Jean-François PENHOUET, “chapelain” at the Cité Saint Pierre de Lourdes
12 non: Festive lunch
3:00 pm: Global prayer time.
“Do not turn your face away from anyone who is poor” (Tb. 4:7)
These words from the Book of Tobit help us to grasp the essence of the witness to be given. The Book of Tobit, a little-known text of the Old Testament, yet one that is charming and full of wisdom, we can better appreciate the message the sacred writer wished to communicate. We find ourselves before a scene of family life: a father, Tobit, embraces his son, Tobias, who is about to set out on a lengthy journey. The elderly Tobit fears that he will never again see his son, and so leaves him his “spiritual testament”.
Pope Francis shares a beautiful meditation on this book to remind Christians of how they must live every day.
60th anniversary of the Encyclical Pacem in terris
In the encyclical Pacem in terris,
Saint John XXIII wrote: “Every human being enjoys the right to life, to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, every individual has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from work; widowhood and forced unemployment; as well as in other cases when, through no fault of his own, he or she is deprived of the means of livelihood.”
In addition, we must once more acknowledge new forms of poverty, as well as those described earlier. I think in particular of peoples caught up in situations of war, and especially children deprived of the serene present and a dignified future. We should never grow accustomed to such situations. Let us persevere in every effort to foster peace as a gift of the risen Lord and the fruit of a commitment to justice and dialogue.
When speaking of the poor, it is easy to fall into rhetorical excess. It is also an insidious temptation to remain at the level of statistics and numbers. The poor are people; they have faces, stories, hearts and souls. They are our brothers and sisters, with good points and bad, like all of us, and it is important to enter into a personal relation with each of them,” Pope Francis tells us.