VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Wednesday urged the faithful to offer welcome and care to refugees fleeing war, famine and poverty.
Continuing his final series of catecheses — on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy — to conclude the Year of Mercy, the pope focused on welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked.
In this video, the Pope tells the story of an elderly Roman lady, a refugee and a taxi driver whose life was changed by giving them a lift.
Here below is the English summary of the Pope’s catechesis.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider two particular corporal works of mercy: welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked. Jesus mentions both of these in connection with the Last Judgement (cf. Mt 25:35-36). Nowadays, the “stranger” is often the immigrant in our midst. In every age, the phenomenon of immigration calls for a response of openness and solidarity. In our own day, the growing influx of refugees fleeing war, famine and dire poverty is a summons to welcome and care for these brothers and sisters. Like so many committed Christians who have gone before us, such as Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, we need to find generous and creative ways of meeting their immediate needs. So too, “clothing the naked” increasingly means caring for those whose dignity has been stripped from them, and working to ensure that it is upheld and safeguarded. As followers of Christ, may we never close our hearts to those in need. For by openness to others, our lives are enriched, our societies enjoy peace and all people can live in a way befitting their God-given dignity.