Rome Newsroom, Nov 20, 2023 / 11:11 am (CNA).
Pope Francis had lunch with approximately 1,200 poor, refugees, and homeless from around Rome on Sunday to mark the Catholic Church’s seventh observance of the World Day of the Poor.
Pope Francis had lunch with around 1,200 of Rome’s poor and economically disadvantaged for the World Day of the Poor on Nov. 19, 2023. The lunch was served in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall and preceded by the Angelus and a special Mass. Credit: Vatican Media.
The lunch, which was offered by Hilton Hotels, included spinach and ricotta cheese-stuffed cannelloni, meatballs with tomato sauce, and a cauliflower purée. The dessert was tiramisu and small pastries.
Waiters bring lunch to Pope Francis and those seated at his table on the World Day of the Poor on Nov. 19, 2023. The lunch was offered by Hilton Hotels and organized by the Vatican’s charity office and the Sant’Egidio community. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
The lunch was organized by the Vatican’s charity office and the Catholic Sant’Egidio community.
Before the meal, Pope Francis led the weekly Sunday Angelus from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
Pope Francis exchanges a look with someone seated at his table during a Vatican lunch with poor and economically disadvantaged people for the World Day of the Poor on Nov. 19, 2023. Credit: Vatican Media.
He also celebrated a Mass for the poor in St. Peter’s Basilica, in which he called poverty “a scandal.”
“When the Lord returns, he will settle accounts with us and — in the words of St. Ambrose — he will say to us: ‘Why did you allow so many of the poor to die of hunger when you possessed gold to buy food for them? Why were so many slaves sold and mistreated by the enemy, without anyone making an effort to ransom them?’ (De Officiis: PL 16, 148-149).”
Pope Francis receives the offertory gifts during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the Church’s seventh World Day of the Poor on Nov. 19, 2023. Among those who brought the gifts to Pope Francis were two people with blindness. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.
“Let us think, then,” the pope said in his homily, “of all those material, cultural, and spiritual forms of poverty that exist in our world, of the great suffering present in our cities, of the forgotten poor whose cry of pain goes unheard in the generalized indifference of a bustling and distracted society.”
Pope Francis established the World Day of the Poor in 2016 at the end of the Church’s Jubilee Year of Mercy. The day is celebrated each year on the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, a week before the feast of Christ the King.