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Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to be close to all who are ill, on this World Day of the Sick.
After paying the midday Angelus on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Holy Father noted that her feast is also the World Day of the Sick.
His message for this year has the theme “It is not good that man should be alone”:
Healing the Sick by Healing Relationships,” and the Pope made reference to this.
Today, on the memorial of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes, we celebrate World Day of the Sick, which this year draws attention to the importance of relationships in sickness. The first thing we need when we are ill is the proximity of loved ones, of healthcare professionals and, in our heart, God’s closeness.
We are all required to be a neighbor to those who suffer, to visit the sick as Jesus teaches us in the Gospel. Therefore, today I wish to express my closeness, and that of the entire Church, to all those who are sick or frail. Let us not forget God’s style: proximity, compassion and tenderness.
Right to care
The Holy Father went on to note how many people do not have access to care:
But on this Day, brothers and sisters, we cannot remain silent about the fact that there are many people today to whom the right to care, and thus the right to life, is denied! I am thinking of those who live in extreme poverty; but I am also thinking of those who live in war zones: fundamental human rights are violated there every day! It is intolerable.
Let us pray for beleaguered Ukraine, for Palestine and Israel, let us pray for Myanmar and for all peoples who are tormented by war.