The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever.

Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the
Third World Day of the Poor
(November 17th, 2019)

On 13 June 2019, the Message for the Day of the Poor was published, an event of growing importance on the ecclesial agenda, a cry of pain that is always dramatic. "Every day we meet families forced to leave their land to seek forms of subsistence elsewhere; orphans who have lost their parents or who have been violently separated from them for brutal exploitation; young people in search of professional fulfilment who are prevented from accessing work because of short-sighted economic policies; victims of many forms of violence, from prostitution to drugs, and humiliated in their depths. How can we forget, moreover, the millions of immigrants who are victims of so many hidden interests, often exploited for political purposes, to whom solidarity and equality are denied? And many homeless and marginalized people who roam the streets of our cities?

In the face of this challenge, responsibility becomes more and more urgent, for every believer and for every man or woman of good will. It is impossible to look the other way. This implies personal and global choices; we need a more equitable distribution of resources on a planetary level, but we also need ethical choices in the daily life of each one. We need to commit ourselves at an economic and political level to new international rules, but we need to look into the eyes of the poor that we meet, to share with them a piece of the road, to "make ourselves close" to each person in difficulty. But this responsibility, Pope Francis reminds us, will not remain without fruit, because, just as the title chosen for the World Day of the Poor 2019 says, "The hope of the poor will never be disappointed". Not so much because we will be good, efficient, consistent, capable of changing the rules of the world. But only because, as the message recalls, "the hope of the poor is strengthened by the certainty of being welcomed by the Lord, of finding true justice in him, of being strengthened in the heart to continue to love". It is up to us never to stop "sowing tangible seeds of hope". And thus become instruments and opportunities for peace, solidarity and the promotion of dignity for every human being. 

Francesco Belletti, Director of CISF