Pope Francis today expressed the desire that we ensure the health and spiritual care for the sick.
His plea came at the end of the General Audience, during his usual greeting to the Italian-speaking faithful. Pope Francis pointed out to those present that the 30th World of the Sick will be observed on the 11th of this month.
The Holy Father also asked for prayers for “our brothers and sisters, for their families, and for all health care and pastoral workers and for all those that take care of them.”
“Grow in Service and Closeness” to Sick People
On January 4 of this year, the Pope’s Message was published for the World Day of the Sick, which will be observed this Friday, Liturgical Memorial of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of Lourdes, on the theme ”Be merciful even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). To be at the side of those that suffer is a way of charity. The Bishop of Rome hoped that the Day “may help us to grow in the service and in closeness to sick persons and their families.”
At the beginning of his message, the Pontiff recalled that 30 years ago, “Saint John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick to sensitize the People of God, Catholic health institutions and the civil society, on the need to assist the sick and those that take care of them.”
“We are grateful to the Lord for the path followed by the local Churches worldwide during these years. Quite a bit of progress has been made, but there is yet much to do on the path to be followed to guarantee to all sick people, primarily in places and situations of greater poverty and exclusion, the health care they need, as well as pastoral accompaniment, so they can live the time of their illness united to Christ crucified and resurrected,” he pointed out.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester