After the 2015-16 Year of Mercy, the pope established the day to encourage new initiatives fostering encounter, friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance to the poor. Francis is scheduled to offer a luncheon to 500 people attending the Mass, and the Vatican said it hoped parishes would do something similar.
The World Day of the Poor celebration was just one item on a list of papal liturgies for November through January. Other items on the list published Oct. 24 include:
— Nov. 2, feast of All Souls, afternoon Mass at the American military cemetery in Nettuno, south of Rome.
— Nov. 3, annual memorial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for cardinals and bishops who died in the past year.
— Nov. 19, World Day of the Poor, Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
— Nov. 26-Dec. 2, papal visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
— Dec. 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception, prayer at the foot of a Marian statue near Rome’s Spanish Steps.
— Dec. 12, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, evening Mass for Latin America in St. Peter’s Basilica.
— Dec. 24, Christmas Mass at 9:30 p.m. in St. Peter’s Basilica.
— Dec. 25, Christmas blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at noon from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.
— Dec. 31, evening prayer and “Te Deum” in St. Peter’s Basilica in thanksgiving for the year past.
— Jan. 1, Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the feast of Mary, mother of God, and World Peace Day.
— Jan. 6, feast of the Epiphany, Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
— Jan. 7, feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Mass in the Sistine Chapel with the baptism of several infants.
— Jan. 15-22, papal trip to Chile and Peru.