Deeply rooted in Catholic theology, is the idea that the poor and marginalized of society should be treated with great respect. Almost all the Saints throughout history have made the poor a priority in their lives. Rich identified with St. Francis of Assisi who after his conversion dedicated the rest of his life to serving the poor. Many years later in our present time we were blessed with the example of Mother Teresa who often spoke of "Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor."
John Paul II had a great love for the poor and even spoke about a "Preferential Option for the Poor" which he said was:
motivated by the contemplation of the face of Christ -- "If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me" (Mt 25:35-37)After Rich's death, a wonderful video about his life was produced called "Homeless Man - The Restless Heart of Rich Mullins." The video has been broken up into several clips and posted on YouTube. The clip below illustrates Rich's profound identification with and love for the poor.