“If God is the center of your
life, no words are necessary.
Your mere presence will
touch hearts.”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


“I am satisfied
to sow in tears
if I may reap
in joy.”

St. Elizabeth Seton


World Humanitarian Day

On Aug. 19, 2003, a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, killed 22 humanitarian aid workers, including the United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Five years later, the UN adopted a resolution designating Aug. 19 as World Humanitarian Day. It is a day for the international community to pause and remember those who died as well as the dozens of aid workers who have died in the years since.

World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe. Every day humanitarian aid workers help millions of people, regardless of who they are and where they live.

This year, as well as last year, COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge to humanitarian operations around the world. Aid workers have overcome unprecedented access hurdles to assist people in crises in countries that have been propelled into humanitarian need by the pandemic. The UN has reported that aid workers are treating and preventing COVID-19, providing food to vulnerable people in need, providing safe spaces for women and girls in lockdown, delivering babies, fighting locusts, and running refugee camps – all amid the pandemic.

Join in this global remembrance and celebration of people helping people. Pray for our sisters and brothers who are humanitarian aid workers. They often risk their safety and sometimes lose their lives in the pursuit of serving the most vulnerable people around the world.