Pope Francis said:

Poverty is not inevitable! Source

But in John 12:8 Jesus said:

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.

Does faith or trust in God guarantee protection from poverty or help with it?

And if so, is it because faith, sacramental or prayerful life provides protection from demons who torture humans also through financial difficulties?

Note: I'm not asking if faith guaranties wealth.

  • 2
    Catholics who become monks take a vow of poverty. If we assume that at least some monks have faith, it's safe to say the answer is no. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 16:59
  • Also I don't see any connection between the two quotes in the question and the question itself. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 16:59
  • @DJClayworth, vow of poverty is not the same as the real poverty. God still provides for monks even if they freely chose poverty. I would even say it's a miracle that monks don't work but God still gives them enough finances to support each other. So monks would actually prove that faith guaranties protection from poverty.
    – Grasper
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 17:52
  • 1
    I think you have to define your terms. Some monks absolutely live in what almost everyone would poverty. What are you calling poverty? Are you saying that if someone is not starving to death then they are not in poverty? Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:36
  • 1
    OK, so if you mean "does faith in God guarantee protection from starvation" can you say that in the question. Because the word "poverty" usually means something different these days. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 18:06

3 Answers 3


Job is an excellent counterexample. He was a very holy man, but was stricken with poverty. His friends tried to convince him that his poverty was due to some hidden sin, but Job refutes them, showing that some wicked men are rich and some just men are poor.

See St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on Job. He repeatedly shows that Job refutes those, like Job's friends, "who excluded divine providence and attributed everything to fortune and to chance."

  • Job proves my point. Firstly Job was blessed with wealth because of his faith. He lost everything because of the test but in the end God blesses him again even with bigger wealth. But I'm not much asking about getting rich due to faith in God(prosperity gospel) but a protection from getting poor due to trust in God. Having everything provided doesn't mean being wealthy and rich.
    – Grasper
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:15
  • Job was unquestionably poor during the story, despite the fact that he had faith in God at that time. Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:33
  • @DJClayworth, I think poverty and wealth was measured differently in his days. Today, he would be considered poor living in a tent with bunch of animals. Going from owning thousand cows to only 10 would still give him a decent life back then. I think the point of Job story isn't about wealth or poverty but about keeping faith no matter what and everything else will be added which proves if you have faith you will be protected. Matthew 6:33
    – Grasper
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 17:20

According to Catholicism, does faith or trust in God guarantee protection from poverty?

The short answer is no.

If it were that easy to avoid poverty, there would be no poor left in the world.

Monks take vows of poverty. Some lived in very real poverty such as Blessed Charles de Foucauld.

How many martyrs were dispossessed of their property before being tortured and killed.

Last but not least, we have the words of Our Lord in regards to the poor:

You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me." - John 12:8

Many of the saints were poor!

Our faith and trust in God can and will always help in dealing with real poverty, for our true hope should always be in Our Lord.

Just as St. Paul was not relieved of his thorn in his side (2 Corinthians 12:7–9), so how can we believe that by being confident in trusting and having faith in God will protect us from poverty and/or a lack of food? It can not.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV)

Even the example of the saintly Job as mentioned in Geremia’s answer is not an example maintained for the average individual. Life is very fragile at the best of times.

Our greatest form of poverty is sin itself and not the lack of material possessions or lack of food. Thus we are all poor in some sense. Serious sin will deprive oneself of one’s ultimate good (Beatific Vision) forever if not forgiven before one dies.

  • This sounds more of an opinion than the official teaching of the Church. Can you cite something from the catechism? You are right some saint were poor but when we inspect their life we can clearly see the reason behind it. And it wasn't because God willed or allowed it but because the outside circumstances forced them to perish because of poverty. For example: Max Kolbe. died to show love
    – Grasper
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:08
  • Again, monks despite not having a source of income God takes care of their needs and protect them from actual poverty. They don't die of starvation because they take vows of poverty so they prove that faith is a guarantee of God's providence. Blessed Charles de Foucauld died because he was shot and not because of poverty or famine.
    – Grasper
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:28
  • I put a comment on the question. Are claiming that if someone is not starving to death then they are not in poverty? Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 14:37
  • @Grasper Find an official source on this subject and I will delete my answer.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 21:39

I can tell you this much: in Luke 2:22, Jesus’ parents offer 2 doves when they present Jesus in the Temple. This is indisputable proof that they were poor at the time, as this was the sacrifice made if you couldn’t afford the livestock (Leviticus 14:30). In proverbs, it says “I have never seen the righteous begging for bread”, Jesus says “do not worry what you will eat or wear... Your Heavenly Father will provide these things”. God fed Elijah by miraculously having a raven bring him bread, and provided Manna to the Israelites. So the Bible has plenty of evidence that God will provide for essential needs. If, however, you look at poverty through the modern lens of being “below the poverty line”, both the first example and the fact that Leviticus even has that provision, and the fact that Jesus made statements like “woe to you who are well fed”, would all indicate that experiencing comparative poverty is not outside of the possible circumstances of the faithful.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .