Each year, the church around the world joins with the Pope to mark the World Day for Migrants and Refugees.
The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.
This year’s celebration is being held on Sunday 29th September and Pope Francis has chosen the theme: “It is not just about migrants”.
Pope Francis’s message stresses that migrants and refugees have become ‘emblems of exclusion’, highlighting wider societal issues that go the very core of how we interact with one another. He encourages us to think of our own actions and if we are ensuring that no one is allowed to remain excluded in our society; those who are new arrivals or who have been forced to flee, as well as those who are marginalised in their own countries.
Pope Francis casts a light onto the many ways migrants and refugees can help us see how we are living in response to the good news preached by Jesus in the Gospels. Are we bound by fear or do we take heed of Jesus’ encouragement not be afraid? Do we put ourselves first or remember Christ’s message that the first will be last? Do we see migrants and refugees as strangers or do we look upon them as our neighbours? These are just a few of the points of reflection that Pope Francis gives to us in his message.
Pope Francis will be celebrating a Mass in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 29th September and many will be marking the day around the world. Here are some suggestions for what you can do to join with them.
"In a word, it is not only the cause of migrants that is at stake; it is not just about them, but about all of us, and about the present and future of the human family." -Pope Francis
The Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section have produced a series of videos, bringing the Pope’s message for this year to life. Click on the links below to view the videos on each theme.
Video 1: “It’s not just about migrants. It’s about our fears.”
Video 2: “It’s not just about migrants. It’s about charity”
Video 3: “It’s not just about migrants. It is about not excluding anyone.”
Video 4: “It’s not just about migrants. It’s also about humanity.”
Video 5: “It’s not just about migrants. It’s about the whole person and all people.”
Video 6: “It’s not just about migrants. It’s about putting the last & least in first place”
Sit and reflect on the words of the Holy Father.
There are many ways you can help support the work of JRS and play a crucial role in welcoming destitute and detained refuges here in the UK, who are subjected to the hostile environment policies.
One of the important aspects of the day is to mark a group of people who are often made to feel marginalised. Why not share a positive message of support to express solidarity for migrants and refugees on social media?
104th World Day for Migrants and Refugees 4 verbs: to Protect, to Promote, to Integrate and to Welcome
“The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future. This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.” – Pope Francis
Read previous messages in full through the links below.