Care for the Poor

Rooted in love for God, charity is expressed by Catholics who show mercy toward those who cannot support themselves and must depend on help from others. Care for the poor is a duty of all Christians.

The Catholic Church has a long tradition of caring for the poor, teaching that all life is sacred and that a moral society is based on the dignity of all people created in the image and likeness of God.

Providing for those in need reveals God the Father’s love for the poor, which is evident throughout the Bible. Care for the poor is also emphasized in the teachings and through the actions of Jesus Christ.

A preferential option for the poor is one of themes of Catholic Social Teaching, instructing that the needs of the poor and vulnerable must come first.

Many saints have been mindful of the poor and several religious orders and Catholic associations of the faithful concentrate on addressing the needs of those who cannot provide for themselves.

The immediate needs of those who are vulnerable and living in poverty are taken care of through works of charity performed by individuals, groups, and the Church as a whole.

Justice is at the heart of longer term solutions, working to correct the root causes of poverty and bring about more lasting social impact through changes to policies or legislation.

Putting their needs first:

VISION Vocation Guide

Revealing the heart of the Father:

Ascension Presents

Then he said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Luke 14: 12-14

Helping people that you may never see:

Catholic Priest

The Church, moreover, intervenes directly in behalf of the poor, by setting on foot and maintaining many associations which she knows to be efficient for the relief of poverty. Herein, again, she has always succeeded so well as to have even extorted the praise of her enemies. Such was the ardor of brotherly love among the earliest Christians that numbers of those who were in better circumstances despoiled themselves of their possessions in order to relieve their brethren; whence “neither was there any one needy among them.”

Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, 15 may 1891

In serving the poor, we serve Christ:

UST Campus Ministry

Modeled after Christ’s infinite generosity:

Catholic Productions

Out of love for Christ:

Franciscan Media

“The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition.” This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to “be able to give to those in need.” It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2444

Serving others in justice:


The most precious treasures:

Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – USA

A Church that is poor and for the poor:

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

The history and symbolism of religious habits:

Aleteia – Spirituality and Inspiration

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