International Day for People with Disabilities 2020

Thursday 3 December is the International Day for People with Disabilities and to mark it the Church is promoting a time of universal prayer.

Today is the International Day for People with Disabilities and to mark it the church is promoting a time of universal prayer.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference is running a number of virtual events on 3 December and they’re open to all – people with disabilities, their families, religious organisations, dioceses, associations and congregations. The event examines the prophetic nature of fraternity and is inspired by the quote from 1 Peter 5:7 “Because You care for us”. This theme underpins two special events that a UK audience will be able to follow and participate in.

How to watch and participate

The events will take place online and will be broadcast on the Italian Episcopal Conference’s YouTube Channel and Facebook page.



Event information

At 16:30 UK time, the events will open. The Italian event will take place from 17:00 to 17:59 but the main international event will be broadcast from 18:00 to 19:00 (UK time).

The event will be delivered in Italian and interpreted into the following spoken languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

For deaf participants there will be sign language interpretation in the following sign languages: International Sign Language, LIS (Italian SL),
BSL (British SL), ASL (American SL), LSF (French SL), DGS (German SL) and LSE (Spanish SL). Subtitles will be provided in Italian.

For information, resources and more on how you can take part, please visit the website for the Italian Bishops’ Service for the Pastoral Care of People with Disabilities.

Running Order

Introduction by Sr Veronica Donatello, Director of the Italian National Office’s Sector for the Catechesis of Disabled People of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

We will then hear a special message from the Holy Father Pope Francis before listening to a series of stories from around the world.

There will then be a time of common prayer focusing on the theme “Because You care for us” (1 Peter 5:7) followed by a scripture meditation by the author and Biblicist Professor Rosanna Virgili.

During these pandemic times of isolation, separation and anxiety, it’s important we look to an inclusive and hope-filled future. From hand washing … to taking care. From social distancing … to nearness. From face masks … to facial expressions.


The Parable of the Good Samaritan
10th Illustration, Codex Purpureus Rossanensis (6th Century)
Diocesan Museum and Codex Corigliano-Rossano (CS)

The scene is taken from St Luke’s Gospel, but with some variants. In the foreground there is Christ helping a wounded man. Christ is assisted by an angel who is giving him a golden cup with oil and wine to dress the wounds. The scene carries a deep symbolic meaning. The Samaritan symbolises Christ himself who saves fallen Mankind, wounded by sin, and who leads to the Church, always ready to provide welcome.