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Vatican announces initiatives for first World Day of the Poor

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has announced on Tuesday that it will have several initiatives to mark the first Day of the Poor here on 19 Nov 2017.

Pope Francis has called for a day for the poor at the conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy in November 2016.

The Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation announced a number of special events that are taking place throughout the week to highlight this annual initiative.

On Sunday morning in St 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 organisations in the vicinity of the Vatican.

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 dessert, 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.

On  Saturday, Nov 18, at 8 pm, there will be a prayer vigil in the ancient Rome Basilica of St Lawrence to remember volunteers all over the world who offer their services in support of the poor and marginalised.

Throughout the week of Nov 13 – 19, a mobile clinic has been set up just in front of St Peter’s Square offering free specialised medical services between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.

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. –  Vatican Radio

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