Words of Pope Francis on Poverty


These words of Pope Francis can help us to reflect more deeply on how our experience of God’s love can open our hearts to solidarity with our neighbors, and move us to action. As you read these quotes, ask for the Holy Spirit to help you discern how you might be called to love-inspired action to address poverty.

“The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal. Poverty in the world is a scandal. In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.” (Pope Francis, Meeting with Students of Jesuit Schools—Q & A, 6/7/13)

“To love God and neighbor is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus.”   (Pope Francis, Address during Visit at the Homeless Shelter “Dono Di Maria,” 5/21/13)

“A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being.”  (Pope Francis, Address to the Food and Agricultural Organization, 6/20/13)

“Among our tasks as witnesses to the love of Christ is that of giving a voice to the cry of the poor.”  (Pope Francis, Address to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 6/14/13)

“Poverty calls us to sow hope. . . . Poverty is the flesh of the poor Jesus, in that child who is hungry, in the one who is sick, in those unjust social structures.”   (Pope Francis, Meeting with Students of Jesuit Schools—Q & A, 6/7/13)

“In the Gospel, we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, that speaks of a man assaulted by robbers and left half dead at the side of the road. People pass by him and look at him. But they do not stop, they just continue on their journey, indifferent to him: it is none of their business! How often we say: it’s not my problem!  How often we turn the other way and pretend not to see! Only a Samaritan, a stranger, sees him, stops, lifts him up, takes him by the hand, and cares for him (cf. Lk 10:29-35). Dear friends, I believe that here, in this hospital, the parable of the Good Samaritan is made tangible. Here there is no indifference, but concern. There is no apathy, but love.”  (Pope Francis, Address at St. Francis of Assisi of the Providence of God Hospital, 7/24/13)

“I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” (Pope Francis, Homily at Inauguration, 3/19/13)