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World Day of Migrants and Refugees

The World Day of Migrants and Refugees – Sunday 27 September 2020

The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for them as they face many challenges; and to increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

For 2020, Pope Francis has chosen the theme “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”, with a focus on the need for the pastoral care of internally displaced persons. 

This year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be marked on Sunday 27 September. 

Message of Pope Francis for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 

The theme chosen by the Holy Father for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”. In his message the Holy Father says:

“Displaced people offer us this opportunity to meet the Lord, “even though our eyes find it hard to recognize him: his clothing in tatters, his feet dirty, his face disfigured, his body wounded, his tongue unable to speak our language” (Homily, 15 February 2019). We are called to respond to this pastoral challenge with the four verbs I indicated in my Message for this Day in 2018: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. To these words, I would now like to add another six pairs of verbs that deal with very practical actions and are linked together in a relationship of cause and effect:

  • You have to know in order to understand.
  • It is necessary to be close in order to serve.
  • In order to be reconciled, we need to listen.
  • In order to grow, it is necessary to share.
  • We need to be involved in order to promote.
  • It is necessary to cooperate in order to build.

You can read Pope’s Francis’ explanation of these practical actions of cause and effect in his full message which can be downloaded here

Resources from the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section 

Click here for resources from the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section. 

Prayers 

WDMR Prayer 2020 by Pope Francis – ‘To share in order to grow’

An Immigrant Prayer
Dear Jesus,
our journey through life is long and hard.
We cannot make this trip alone;
we must walk together on the journey.
You promised to send us a helper, your Spirit.
Help us to see your Spirit in those you send to journey with us.
In the refugee family, seeking safety from violence, let us see your Spirit.
In the migrant worker, bringing food to our tables, let us see your Spirit.
In the asylum seeker, seeking justice for himself and his family, let us see your Spirit.
In the unaccompanied child, traveling in a dangerous world, let us see your Spirit.
Teach us to recognise that as we walk with each other, you are present.
Teach us to welcome not only the strangers in our midst but the gifts they bring as well:
the invitation to conversion, communion, and solidarity.
This is the help you have sent:
we are not alone.
We are together on the journey,
and for this we give you thanks.

Amen.

Click below to listen to an audio version of this prayer. 

Irish Blessing for those Who are Forced to Leave Home
The love and affection of the angels be to you,
The love and affection of the saints be to you,
The love and affection of heaven be to you,
To guard and to cherish you.
May God shield you on every step,
May he aid you on every path,
And may he hold you safe on every slope,
On every hill and on every plain;
On earth and on sea until it is safe to go home again. Click below to listen to an audio version of this blessing. 

Prayers of the Faithful 

We pray that we may accept the gifts of our migrants and refugees with open hands and hearts
showing them that we are brothers and sisters. Lord hear us.

We pray that we may live our baptismal commitment by helping refugees and migrants in our
dioceses and parishes. Lord hear us.

We pray that we may listen to the Word of God and live it out fully by our hospitality to all in our
parish. Lord hear us.

We pray that we may hear and answer ‘here I am’ to the Gospel values of being welcoming to one
another, especially our immigrant brothers and sisters. Lord hear us.

We pray that we may reach out to touch others as Jesus did. Lord hear us.

We pray that we are willing to help others who are in need of basic necessities, such as food, and are
also able to listen to those in need. Lord hear us.

We pray that we may find ways of following Jesus by seeking ways to help refugees, migrants and
their families. Lord hear us.

God of Unity and Hope, we pray that our country may be transformed with love. May we hear the
cries of migrant and refugee families and be ready to help them in any ways we can. Lord hear us.
All immigrants are our brothers and sisters and all children are gifts of God to us. May we grow in
caring for others and be sensitive to their needs. May we welcome those who come to our diocese
and parish.

We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Litany –  It is not just about migrants 

It is not just about migrants:
it is also about our fears and hurts.
It is not just about migrants:
it is about charity and compassion.
It is not just about migrants:
it is about our humanity.
It is not just about migrants:
it is a question of seeing that no one is abandoned or
excluded.
It is not just about migrants:
it is about putting the last in first place.
It is not just about migrants:
it is about the whole person, about all people.
It is not just about migrants:
it is about building the city of God.

Litany based on the message of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees 2019. 

Click here for an audio version of this litany. 

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