Vatican City, Feb 4, 2017 / 08:16 am
In his newest prayer video Pope Francis focused on the poor and refugees, saying we shouldn’t be like immobile mannequin’s when faced with their needs, but must instead reach out and help.
“We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers and shopping centers and strike big real estate deals, but they abandon part of themselves to marginal settlements on the periphery,” the Pope said in his prayer video, released Feb. 4.
Francis speaks as the video opens to a scene of people doing a “Mannequin Challenge” -- a viral internet trend where people freeze in their positions as music plays in the background -- on a crowded city street.
“The result of this situation is that great sections of the population are excluded and marginalized: without a job, without options, without a way out.”
“Don't abandon them,” he said, as the frozen figures jump into action and help a homeless man hunched by the side of a building.
He asked viewers to join him in praying for his February prayer intention, which is “that all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized may find welcome and comfort in our communities.”
The Pope’s prayer is timely, as it falls on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration ban, which would halt the influx of refugees into the U.S., except in the cases of religious minorities fleeing persecution. Part of the ban could also mean suspending visas issued to persons from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya.