- Dec 9, 2019
Pope Francis spent Tuesday with the Missionaries of Mercy, a corps of more than 1,000 priests from all over the world, who will be key to implementing the vision he laid out in “Gaudete et Exsultate.”
In three out of four of his overseas trips in 2017, Francis had to measure his words and deeds very carefully, knowing that saying too much — or too little — could have been dangerous.
Pope Francis announced the World Day for the Poor in his concluding message for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. He said he wanted it to be celebrated annually on the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, a week before the Solemnity of Christ the King, as “yet another tangible sign of this Extraordinary Holy Year.”
Pope Francis called Christians and people of all beliefs to celebrate the World Day of the Poor, which he called for after the Jubilee of Mercy, by helping those in need and the marginalized not only in words, but in concrete deeds. On November 19, the pope will invite 500 poor people to have lunch in the Vatican.
According to a statement by the Vatican more than 3.9 million pilgrims visited and attended papal events, liturgies or prayer services during the Holy Year of Mercy in 2016. The numbers fell short of the 5.9 million pilgrims who visited in 2014 probably due to terror attacks in Europe.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy was especially needed in South Sudan, a nation plagued by war and famine, according to Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio. “That was so timely for us in South Sudan, that a people have to learn to forgive one another.”