VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At the request of various bishops’ conferences, Pope Francis has changed the date of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to the last Sunday of September.

While the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees was celebrated Jan. 14, in 2019 it will be celebrated Sept. 29, also the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.


Greg Burke, head of the Vatican press office, said in a communique that “as usual, the text of the Holy Father’s message will be released some months before” the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The day, which was instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X, had most recently been celebrated in January each year, usually the second Sunday after the Epiphany. The Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Migration Week around the Epiphany. For 2019, National Migration Week was to be Jan. 6-12.

Bishops’ conferences around the world celebrate a Migrant and Refugee Week different times of year. For example, in August in Australia and in September in Chile and Argentina.