By Deborah Castellano Lubov

“Forced like Jesus Christ to flee” is the title of Pope Francis’ message for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be celebrated Sept. 27, 2020.

This was announced in a press release of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development – Section for Migrants and Refugees, this afternoon, March 6, 2020.

“As the title for his annual Message,” the statement began, “the Holy Father has chosen “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee”. The Message will focus on the pastoral care of internally displaced persons (IDPs), who currently number over 41 million worldwide.”

“As the title makes clear,” it continues, “the reflection begins with the experience of the young Jesus and his family as displaced persons and refugees. This provides a Christological grounding for the Christian action of welcome or hospitality.”

Over the coming months, the dicastery explained, the theme will be developed in six sub-themes expressed by six pairs of verbs: to know in order to understand; to draw near so as to serve; to listen in order to reconcile; to share and thus to grow; to involve in order to promote; and finally, to collaborate and therefore to build.

The Migrants and Refugees Section will encourage, prepare and support the celebration of this day, and resources are being developed and a communication campaign will soon get underway.

They explained that each month, information, reflections, and multimedia aids will be offered as means of exploring and expressing the theme the Holy Father has chosen.

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