11th February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, is the World Day of the Sick.World Day of the Sick was instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992 as, in his words, “a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ…”
In his message for this year’s celebration, Pope Francis recalls “the self-sacrificing generosity of many founders of institutes in the service of the infirm”, reminds us that the Church has served the needy and the sick since the time of Christ and tells us that the example and efforts of the past provide the model for the future. “Wise organization and charity demand that the sick person be respected in his or her dignity, and constantly kept at the centre of the therapeutic process.”
As we mark this day, may all of us who are called to be health workers and caregivers draw renewed strength from the healing ministry of Christ in whose name we, Sisters of St John of God and those who serve with us, minister.
May our attentive presence calm anxiety and fear, ease pain and bring comfort.