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World Day for Consecrated Life – 2 February

Consecrated women and men — together with Catholics in general — are invited to celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life. Established by St. John Paul II, the day recognizes the beauty and impact of a life dedicated to poverty, chastity, and obedience.

When is it celebrated?

The Catholic Church celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life Feb. 2, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas or the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Consecrated women and men — together with Catholics in general — are invited to celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life.

In his message for the first World Day of Consecrated Life, the late pontiff stressed the importance of the day.

“The mission of the consecrated life in the present and in the future of the Church,” he said, “concerns not merely those who have received this special charism, but the entire Christian community.

The consecrated life, he added, “is at the very heart of the Church as a decisive element for her mission, since it ‘manifests the inner nature of the Christian calling’ and the striving of the whole Church as Bride towards union with her one Spouse,” citing his apostolic exhortation Vita Consecrata.

In his 1997 address, Pope Saint John Paul II listed three reasons, beginning with thanking God for this “stupendous gift!”

The day “answers the intimate need to praise the Lord more solemnly and to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life,” he said. Next, “this day is intended to promote a knowledge of and esteem for the consecrated life by the entire People of God.”

The last reason, he said, concerned consecrated persons.

“They are invited to celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them,” he said, “to discover by a more illumined faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the Spirit in their way of life, and to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the Church and in the world.”

 

Source: Text: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/    Images: pexels.com (Mikhail Nilov, Mart Production)

International Widows’ Day – 23 June

Invisible Women, Invisible Problems

For many women around the world, the devastating loss of a partner is magnified by a long-term fight for their basic rights and dignity. Despite the fact that there are more than 258 million widows around the world, widows have historically been left unseen, unsupported, and unmeasured in our societies.

Today, as armed conflicts, displacement and migration, and the COVID-19 pandemic leave tens of thousands of women newly widowed and many others whose partners are missing or disappeared, the unique experiences and needs of widows must be brought to the forefront, with their voices leading the way.

Experience from the past, shows that widows are often denied inheritance rights, have their property grabbed after the death of a partner, and can face extreme stigma and discrimination, as perceived ‘carriers’ of disease. Worldwide, women are much less likely to have access to old age pensions than men, so the death of a spouse can lead to destitution for older women. In the context of lockdowns and economic closures, widows may not have access to bank accounts and pensions to pay for healthcare if they too become ill or to support themselves and their children. With lone-mother families and single older women already particularly vulnerable to poverty, this is an area that needs urgent attention.

On International Widows’ Day, 23 June, take a look at some of the issues affecting widows around the world and what must be done to safeguard and advance their rights.

Nicaraguan women

Problems for widows in developing countries

close-up of an older lady with gray hair

What you should know about widowhood

As widows move through their own experiences of grief, loss, or trauma after the death of a spouse, they may also face economic insecurity, discrimination, stigmatization, and harmful traditional practices on the basis of their marital status.

 

Source: Texte & Images: https://www.un.org/en/observances/widows-day

 

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – 17 October

17 October presents an opportunity to acknowledge the effort and struggle of people living in poverty, a chance for them to make their concerns heard, and a moment to recognize that poor people are the first ones to fight against poverty.

Participation of the poor themselves has been at the center of the Day’s celebration since its very beginning. The commemoration of 17 October also reflects the willingness of people living in poverty to use their expertise to contribute to the eradication of poverty.

The observance of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty can be traced back to 17 October 1987. On that day, over a hundred thousand people gathered at the Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948, to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger.

They proclaimed that poverty is a violation of human rights and affirmed the need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected. These convictions are inscribed in a commemorative stone unveiled on this day. Since then, people of all backgrounds, beliefs and social origins have gathered every year on 17 October to renew their commitment and show their solidarity with the poor. Replicas of the commemorative stone have been unveiled around the world and serve as a gathering place to celebrate the Day.

 

Source: Text: https://en.unesco.org/events/international-day-eradication-poverty   Image: freepik.com

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction – 13 October

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is observed on October 13 every year. The day is a chance to recognize the progress made in addressing vulnerability to disasters and the loss of lives, economies, and health. Every year, the day honors people and communities all over the world who are working to reduce their vulnerability to disasters and raise awareness about the urgency of lowering the dangers they face. Disaster resilience in response to catastrophic weather events and other natural and man-made disasters requires international cooperation in the form of Official Development Aid (ODA) as well as capacity building.

HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is an annual event that urges citizens and governments to work together to make their communities and countries more disaster-resilient. As part of its declaration of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, the United Nations General Assembly established October 13 as the International Day for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction.

After the United Nations General Assembly called for a day to foster a global culture of risk awareness and catastrophe reduction, International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was born in 1989.

In 2022, the General Assembly resolved to keep the yearly commemoration as a tool for promoting a global mindset of natural disaster mitigation, covering prevention and preparedness. The United Nations General Assembly resolved in 2009 to make October 13 the official date, and to rename it International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The international community was informed in 2015 at the third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, that disasters strike worst at the local level, with the possibility of creating tremendous social and economic devastation. Every year, millions of people are displaced by sudden disaster outbreaks. Catastrophic events, many of which have been aggravated by global warming, have a detrimental influence on sustainable development investment and its desired outcomes.

Disasters significantly affect low- and middle-income countries, especially in terms of fatalities, the number of persons injured or displaced, and damage to key infrastructure. While other global problems might seem more pressing, hunger and poverty cannot be eradicated if we do not address disaster risk reduction.

 

Source: Text: https://nationaltoday.com/international-day-for-disaster-risk-reduction/   Image: nationaldaycalendar

International Tea Day – 21 May

Why drink tea?

Tea is a beverage made from the Camellia sinesis plant. Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, but the exact place where the plant first grew is not known. Tea has been with us for a long time. There is evidence that tea was consumed in China 5,000 years ago.

Tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries and is the main means of subsistence for millions of poor families, who live in a number of least developed countries.

The tea industry is a main source of income and export revenues for some of the poorest countries and, as a labour-intensive sector, provides jobs, especially in remote and economically disadvantaged areas. Tea can play a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries, being one of the most important cash crops.

Tea consumption can bring health benefits and wellness due to the beverage’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and weight loss effects. It also has cultural significance in many societies.

International Tea Day

Re-emphasizing the call from the Intergovernmental Group on Tea to direct greater efforts towards expanding demand, particularly in tea-producing countries, where per capita consumption is relatively low, and supporting efforts to address the declining per capita consumption in traditional importing countries, the General Assembly decided to designate 21 May as International Tea Day.

The Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

 

Source: Text: International Tea Day | United Nations     Image: eventlas.com

World Asthma Day – 3 mai 2022

World Asthma Day (WAD) (May 3, 2022) is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA) (www.ginasthma.org), a World Health Organization collaborative organization founded in 1993.  WAD is held each May to raise awareness of Asthma worldwide.Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes or exacerbations.GINA has chosen ‘Closing Gaps in Asthma Care’ as the theme for the 2022 World Asthma Day.

There are a number of gaps in asthma care which require intervention in order to reduce preventable suffering as well as the costs incurred by treating uncontrolled asthma.

Current gaps in asthma care include:

  • in equal access to diagnosis and treatment (medicine)
  • between care for different socioeconomic, ethnic and age groups
  • between wealthy and poorer communities and countries;
  • in communication and care across the primary/secondary/tertiary care interface
  • in communication and education provided for people with asthma, (quality of asthma care plans vs)
  • in asthma knowledge and asthma awareness between health care providers
  • in prioritization between asthma and other long term conditions
  • between prescribing inhalers and monitoring adherence and ability to use these devices;
  • exist for the general public’s (non-asthmatics) and health care professional’s awareness and understanding that asthma is a chronic (not acute) disease.
  • between scientific evidence and actual delivery of care for people with asthma.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://ginasthma.org/

6th Sunday of Year C – 2022

Poverty, hunger, sadness, hatred from others – who would dare say that these will bring happiness?
Someone has dared to say so – Jesus did when speaking to the crowds eager to listen to him (Luke 6:17,20-26).

I wonder how they reacted, all those listening to him on that day…
As they walked back home, they must have been puzzled, wondering about such an unusual message.

I ask myself: ‘Nowadays, how many people are listening to these words, listening and being ready to accept the message given – such a challenging message!’…

Possessions and prestige, this is what people are looking for, not poverty and hunger.
Enjoying life and all the pleasures it can offer, this is what appeals to people, not suffering and sadness.

Of course, there is the promise – the promise of the kingdom of God, of future satisfaction and joy, a reward waiting in heaven.
But precisely, this is all to come… in the future.
This perspective has not much interest for people living in what has been qualified as a time of instant gratification!
Enjoying life now, not in what seems to many as a doubtful future.

We, each one of us, are faced with a choice, a challenge: accepting Jesus’ message and following him, or…
Or, following our own path, searching, and searching, never really finding what we are longing for…

In the 1st reading, the prophet Jeremiah says (Jeremiah 17:5-8):

“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord”.

Trust and hope: relying on someone who cannot disappoint our search – this is the option offered to us.
Instead of a constant search leading to… a dead end.

 

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/6e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2022/

 

Source: Image: historyandthenews.wordpress

International Day of Peace – 21 September

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected.  The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.

2018 Theme: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70” 

The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.The Universal Declaration – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages – is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was adopted.

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark document.” — Secretary-General António Guterres

Source: Text & Image: UN

 

International Day of Charity – 5 September

The International Day of Charity was conceived as a Hungarian civil society initiative supported by the Hungarian Parliament and Government in 2011, to enhance visibility, organize special events, and in this way to increase solidarity, social responsibility and public support for charity.

September 5 was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 « for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace. »

Source: Text: Wikipedia

In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

The Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth in the Agenda can be grouped into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. They have the potential to transform our lives and our planet by providing the framework needed for philanthropic institutions to enable all people to contribute to the betterment of our world.

Source: Text: UN Image: nationaltoday.com

 

World Humanitarian Day – 19 August

Every year, thousands of men and women the world over put their lives in danger working in Humanitarian causes all over the world. Working in the most poverty and illness stricken third world countries the world over, often in areas of great social violence, these dedicated heroes put their lives on the line, and sometimes lose them in the pursuit of their goals. World Humanitarian Day is when we remember these heroes and their sacrifices.

History of World Humanitarian Day
World Humanitarian Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the death of Sergio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his fellow humanitarians in a bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN. Sergio had worked at great length attempted to pull together the Draft for the official designation of World Humanitarian Day.

Sergio was born in Brazil, and worked tirelessly over three decades to help those victims of armed conflict by easing their pain and making sure the world did not forget them. Awareness was a vital part of his campaign, trying to ensure that those in First World Countries and places of peace remembered that there was more to war than the deaths of combatants and conflicts between governments. These people struggle every day to survive against odds that were created in spite of their desire to just live in peace and safety.

World Humanitarian Day was officially established to recognize Sergio and the thousands like him who work every day to make the world a better place for the less fortunate, the underprivileged, and those living in places of war, starvation, and pestilence.

Source: Text: DAYSoftheYEAR Image: Askideas.com