World Day of the Sick

World Day of the Sick

Photo courtesy of Sister Dolores Mikula, SND.

February 11 is World Day of the Sick, an observance introduced by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses. Catholic Health Association of the United States points out that the day coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes and is an important opportunity for those who serve in Catholic health ministry to reflect on caring for those who are sick as well as those who provide care to them.

In his message for World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis states, “We know that health is relational, dependent on interaction with others, and requiring trust, friendship and solidarity. It is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully only when it is shared. The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian.

I entrust all of you to Mary… May she help us to share the gifts we have received in the spirit of dialogue and mutual acceptance, to live as brothers and sisters attentive to each other’s needs, to give from a generous heart, and to learn the joy of selfless service to others.”