Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vatican celebrating the first World Day of the Poor

This Sunday, November 19th will mark the first World Day of the Poor, which Pope Francis called for at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Today, the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization announced a number of special events that are taking place throughout the week to highlight this annual initiative. On Sunday morning (November 19) in Saint Peter’s Basilica, some four thousand poor and needy people, accompanied by volunteers from Italy, France, Spain, Brussels, Luxembourg and Poland will take part in a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

Following the Eucharist, 1,500 of the visitors will be invited to lunch in the adjacent Paul VI Hall, while the other 2,500 guests will be taken to lunch in some of the Catholic colleges, seminaries and charitable organizations in the vicinity of the Vatican.

Festive lunch in Paul VI Hall
Those dining in the Paul VI Hall will be served a meal of gnocchi with tomato sauce and veal stew with vegetables, plus tiramisu and coffee for desert, all prepared by papal chef Sergio Dussin from Bassano del Grappa in Italy’s northern Veneto region. The Vatican police band and a children’s choir will provide background music for the festive lunch, which has been organised in collaboration with a number of local charity organisations and parishes.

Prayer vigil at St Lawrence Basilica
On the previous evening, Saturday, November 18 at 8pm, there will be a prayer vigil in the ancient Roman Basilica of Saint Lawrence to remember volunteers all over the world who offer their services in support of the poor and marginalized. Throughout the week of November 13 to 19, a mobile clinic has been set up just in front of Saint Peter’s Square offering free specialized medical services between the hours of 9am and 4pm.

A special booklet marking this first World Day of the Poor has also been published in six languages as a pastoral aid for dioceses and parishes worldwide who wish to take part in this important initiative.

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