Pope's June prayer intention: 'For those fleeing their own countries'

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of June 2024, and invites everyone to pray for people who flee their home countries.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Pope Francis' monthly prayer intention this June is for "those fleeing their own countries."

The Pope invited the Church to pray for this intention in this month's The Pope Video, released on Tuesday. The prayer intention is entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network during the month in which the United Nations commemorates World Refugee Day on 20 June.

Produced in collaboration with Tele VID and with the support of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Pope Video for June is a story about the borders in various parts of the world.

In his video, the Pope reminds Christians that “whoever welcomes a migrant welcomes Christ,” and expresses how often this context is forgotten.

Number of displaced exceeds World War II

In recent years, the number of people who have been displaced has exceeded that during the Second World War.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2023, there were 110 million people forcefully displaced throughout the world.

In this context, Pope Francis has repeatedly asked throughout his pontificate that migrants be accompanied, promoted and integrated.

At the beginning of the video, the Pope says, “The feeling of uprootedness or not knowing where they belong often accompanies the trauma experienced by people who are forced to flee their homeland because of war or poverty.”

'God walks with His People'

For this reason, he exhorts, “we promote a social and political culture that protects the rights and dignity of migrants, a culture that promotes the possibility that they can achieve their full potential.”

Consistent with the intention of this video message, each year since 1914, the Church has invited the faithful to pray for migrants on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

“God walks with His People” is the theme chosen for the 2024 Day, which will be held on 29 September.

Cardinal Czerny: Protecting rights enhances communities

Cardinal Michael Czerny, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which organizes the World Day, reflected on Pope Francis' reminding us that God is journeying alongside His people.

"The Holy Family," the Prefect recalled, "had to take refuge in a foreign land because Baby Jesus’s life was in danger," and therefore, he invited, "All of us are invited to welcome, protect, promote and integrate any person who has fled their homeland to save their lives or who are searching for a dignified future."

"By protecting the rights of migrants, the integral human development of every person," Cardinal Czerny reaffirmed, "is promoted," and "communities that welcome them, are enriched in multiple ways.”

Fr. Fornos: 'We are one human family'

Father Frédéric Fornos S.J., International Director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network, reflected on this month's intention, likewise recalling the drama of migrants and refugees.

“Migrants fleeing from war and hunger, often survivors of desperate journeys, are the object of political battles,"he lamented. "It is important to remember that they are not numbers or statistics; they are people. Our personal and collective histories are marked by migration. Rather than treating migrants like a burden or a problem, we should find solutions based on compassion and respect for their human dignity. "

"This vision," he continued, "is rooted in the Gospel and prayer and the Church’s magisterium reminds us of this.”

The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network

The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father's monthly prayer intentions. It is carried out by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). Since 2016, The Pope Video has had more than 203 million views across all the Vatican’s social networks and is translated into more than 23 languages, receiving press coverage in 114 countries.

The videos are produced and created by The Pope Video Prayer Network team, coordinated by Andrea Sarubbi, and distributed by La Machi Communication for Good Causes. The project is sponsored by Vatican Media.

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. These challenges are presented in the form of prayer intentions entrusted by the Pope to the entire Church.

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28 May 2024, 16:01