“Let us pray for children who are suffering, especially for those who are homeless, orphans, and victims of war. May they be guaranteed access to education and may they have the opportunity to experience family affection”. This is the Pope’s prayer intention for the month of November, which he shared in a video published by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The video begins with a little boy in a dump, surrounded by garbage as far as the eye can see. Pope Francis shares the stark numbers: “There are still millions of boys and girls who suffer and live in conditions very similar to slavery”. But “they aren’t numbers”, he clarifies. “They are human beings with names, with a face of their own, with an identity that God has given them”.
The Holy Father laments how often “we forget our responsibility” and “close our eyes to the exploitation of these children who don’t have a right to play, to study, to dream”. Some, he adds, “don’t even enjoy the warmth of a family”. The video shows a number of children in different parts of the world, each in some situation of suffering.
“Each marginalized child, abandoned by his or her family, without schooling, without healthcare, is a cry!”, says the Pope. And he does not shy away from calling the culprits by their name: “A cry that rises up to God and shames the system that we adults have built. An abandoned child is our fault”, he says firmly.
“We can no longer allow them to feel alone and abandoned — they are entitled to an education and to feel the love of a family so they know that God does not forget them”.
Fr Frédéric Fornos, SJ, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, echoes the Pope’s call to respond to the “millions of forgotten children who suffer in silence on the streets and in hidden labor, victims of violence and war, migrants and refugees. In the face of indifference and impotence”, he says, “we must pray”.
Available online at www.thepopevideo.org and translated into 23 languages, the video for the prayer intention for November was created and produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, in cooperation with La Machi Agency and the Dicastery for Communication.