EUROPE/ITALY - Father Maccalli: “The World Day of the Poor reminds us of the presence of Christ in the victims of wars”

Friday, 17 November 2023

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "The World Day of the Poor 2023 is framed today by a truly disturbing scenario of wars. From my missionary vision, the relationship between war and poverty appears immediate," emphasizes Father Pier Luigi Maccalli on the occasion of the seventh World Day of the Poor, which takes place on Sunday, November 19th.

"The biblical category of the poor", the priest of the Society for African Missions (SMA) told Fides, "is identified with the group of orphans, widows and strangers, and wars always produce orphans, widowed mothers and many forced refugees , fleeing to places where they are labeled as foreigners. So many Ukrainian, Russian, Palestinian, Israeli, Sudanese, Ethiopian women and children, and from so many places forgotten by the media, now find themselves widows and orphans again, without a man to hold them, without a father to dry their tears as they walk sadly and aimlessly through strange streets."

"We Catholic Christians", the missionary continued, "are used to emphasizing the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and we condemn as blasphemous any act committed against churches, statues and places of worship. Violating the body and bloodying the face of human beings, especially weak and defenseless people, can be much worse. War is a crime against humanity and I personally dream of the day when it is abolished by a public declaration, as is the case of slavery and colonization." "This World Day," adds Father Maccalli, "reminds us of the real presence of Christ in the poor victims of so many kinds of wars. The poor and peace are two cornerstones of the Evangelical Beatitudes that this day should remind us of. The poor People and the human peripheries also remind us that becoming a Samaritan is part of the essence of the gospel."

The theme of this year's day is taken from the book of Tobit: "Do not take your eyes off the poor" (Tb 4,7). To mark World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis will preside over a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Basilica next Sunday, November 19th. (PLM) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2023)