Vatican City, 04 January, 2022 / 8:30 pm (ACI Africa).
In a message ahead of the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis reminded Catholics that caring for the ill and infirm is not the calling of a few, but part of every Christian’s mission to show mercy.
“I would like to remind everyone that closeness to the sick and their pastoral care is not only the task of certain specifically designated ministers; visiting the sick is an invitation that Christ addresses to all his disciples,” the pope said.
“How many sick and elderly people are living at home and waiting for a visit,” he added. “The ministry of consolation is a task for every baptized person, mindful of the words of Jesus: ‘I was sick and you visited me.’”
The Catholic Church will mark the 30th annual World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in southwestern France is associated with the sick because of the presence of a miraculous spring from which many people have obtained physical healing.
Pope Francis said that his predecessor John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick in 1992 as a way “to encourage the people of God, Catholic health institutions, and civil society to be increasingly attentive to the sick and to those who care for them.”