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Vatican to focus on 'journey' for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

The theme, 'God walks with His people' is meant to remember those displaced by conflict, persecution and economic challenges
Recently arrived migrants in Brooklyn, New York.

Recently arrived migrants in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo: Vatican News

Published: February 23, 2024 04:47 AM GMT
Updated: February 23, 2024 05:00 AM GMT

The Catholic Church's focus for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2024 highlights its need to walk alongside displaced persons and to convey to them God's presence and guidance along their paths, the Vatican said.

In a statement released Feb. 22, the Vatican announced "God walks with His people" will be the theme for the 110th world day, which will be celebrated Sept. 29.

Pope Francis' message for the world day -- not yet released -- "will address the itinerant dimension of the Church with a particular focus on our migrant brothers and sisters, a contemporary icon of the journeying Church," the statement said.

It added that the church's journeying alongside its people, and in particular migrants and refugees, "is a path to be undertaken in a synodal way, overcoming all threats and obstacles, in order to reach our true homeland together."

"During this journey, wherever people find themselves, it is essential to recognize the presence of God who walks with His people, assuring them of His guidance and protection at every step," the Vatican statement said. "Yet it is equally essential to recognize the presence of the Lord, Emmanuel, God-with-us, in every migrant who knocks at the door of our hearts and offers an opportunity for encounter."

In his message for last year's world day, Pope Francis said that "the synodal path that we have undertaken as a Church leads us to see in those who are most vulnerable -- among whom are many migrants and refugees -- special companions on our way, to be loved and cared for as brothers and sisters."

World Day of Migrants and Refugees was established in 1914 by St. Pius X and is celebrated annually on the last Sunday of September.

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