Press Release - Third World Day of the Poor

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Third World Day of the Poor

The Hope of the Poor Shall Not Perish Forever

10 – 17 November 2019

Press Release




The Third World Day of the Poor instituted by Pope Francis is now approaching its third edition. Also this year various events are scheduled in order to give those who live their lives daily on the margins of society a sign of attention and inclusion.

The Field Hospital has again been set up on the left hand side of St. Peter’s Square. For a week this multi-functional structure will offer specialist medical examinations, treatments, blood testing and instrumental diagnostics completely free of charge for the needy who would normally have enormous difficulty in accessing these types of services.  Thanks to the support of important health organizations and the reputation which this structure has acquired in the period years since its inception, this year we are able to offer specialist services in the fields of general medicine, cardiology, diabetology, dermatology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, gynecology, ophthalmology, and podiatry, as well as blood testing, flu shots and diagnostic ultrasound. The Field Hospital will function Sunday, November 10, to Sunday, November 17, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (with brief closures on Wednesday morning for the Holy Father’s General Audience and on Sunday morning for the Recitation of the Angelus).

To access its services, it is sufficient to go to the Field Hospital in St. Peter’s Square and undergo immediately a medical triage that will assign those seeking medical assistance to one of the different clinics available. The services available during this event are offered through the generosity of various organizations which in the past have collaborated with the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the organizer and promoter of the event, as well as those who are participating this year for the first time. In particular, as well as from the Directorate of Health and Hygiene of the Vatican City State, valuable assistance has come from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart/Gemelli University Hospital, from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Tor Vergata/Tor Vergata University Hospital, from the Polo Assistenziale della Casa di Curia Santa Famiglia, from the Azienda Ospedaliera San Giovanni – Addolorata, and from the Istituto Nazionale per la Promozione della Salute delle Popolazioni Migranti e il Contrasto delle Malattie della Povertà (INMP). In addition, services relating to patient reception, medical triage, and guidance, as well as the medical personnel present in the structure, are offered through the generosity of the Corpo delle Infirmiere Volontarie of the Italian Red Cross, the Non-profit Association Crocerossine d’Italia, and the Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Care. The construction of the Field Hospital and the preparation of the various initiatives of the World Day of the Poor have been made possible through the support of different companies, among which UnipolSai, Gilead, Roma Cares, Euroma 2, Fondazione RH, Regia Congressi, Sequirus Srl, Confederazione Nazionale delle Misericordie d’Italia, Halga Italia S.r.l., Methodo, LEO Pharma, Lloyds Pharmacy, Dedalus S.p.A. and Kilabs S.r.l.

On Sunday, 17 November, at 10:00 a.m., Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of a representation of the needy accompanied by some voluntary associations and open to all the People of God. Afterwards, the now customary Lunch with Pope Francis will take place, with one thousand five hundred of the needy invited to the Paul VI Audience Hall, transformed for the occasion into an enormous dining room with 150 tables, for a lunch in their honor. Those invited come from Rome, from the dioceses of the Lazio region, and from various dioceses throughout Italy.  Following the lunch, generously offered by Roma Cares, the participants will be gifted some packs of pasta, donated by La Molisana, and a bottle of olive oil, donated by Coldiretti. At the same time as this lunch in the Vatican, similar initiatives aimed at the inclusion of the needy will take place in parishes and volunteer organizations which have adhered to the initiative in Rome, Italy, and in other countries.

The initiatives related to the World Day of the Poor are increasing year by year.  Last year the Field Hospital in St Peter’s Square was used by over 2,000 patients, with over 3,500 medical procedures undertaken. The prompt intervention of medical staff was providential in the case of three patients who were suffering heart attacks at the time of their visits. Several patients were found to be suffering from serious infectious diseases requiring treatment after the World Day of the Poor. Reports of similar concrete initiatives continue to be received from dioceses around the world.