"How can it be that even today there are still people dying of hunger? Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their heads?"
- Pope John Paul II, Novo Millenio Ineunte, 50
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed every year since 1993, when the United Nations General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries. It is a day to act together against extreme poverty and plan for a world where no-one is left behind.
Pope Francis has written,
"Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another."
He has also reminded us that
" … we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness." (Laudato Si’, 2015)
The commemoration of Oct. 17 also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty. Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day's celebration since its very beginning.
Take a moment to be aware of God’s love for the poor.
Let us pray.
Lord, God of Mercy, we pray today in solidarity with persons who are poor, vulnerable, abused and neglected in our own neighborhoods, in our country and throughout the world.
May we serve as instruments of your love in prayer and in action for the homeless and the destitute, the old and the sick, and all who have no one to care for them.
Help us to bring your healing presence to all who are broken in body, mind or spirit and to turn their hurt into hope.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who knew poverty and pain and suffered for us. Amen.
Department of Economic and Social Affairs — Social Policy and Development Division
UN chief hails agreement on 'people's agenda' to end poverty, promote sustainability — Vatican Radio