World Day of the Sick

Pope’s Message for the World Day of the Sick

The nineteenth World Day of the Sick will be held on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Pope begins his Message by recalling his pastoral visit to the Italian city of Turin last May where, he writes, “I had the opportunity to pause in reflection and prayer before the Holy Shroud, before that suffering face which invites us to meditate upon the One Who took upon Himself the passion of mankind in all times and places, including our own sufferings, difficulties and sins”.Having noted that “suffering remains charged with mystery, and is difficult for us to accept and to bear”, Benedict XVI mentions the case of the Apostle Thomas, who struggled to believe in the redemptive passion but, “faced with Christ showing His wounds, his reaction was transformed into a moving profession of faith: “my Lord and my God”.

It is, the Pope goes on to explain, “through the wounds of Christ that, with the eyes of hope, we can see the evils afflicting humanity….God, Truth and Love personified, wished to suffer for us and with us. He became man in order to suffer with man, to suffer truly in flesh and blood. Hence in all human suffering we are joined by One Who shares and carries that suffering with us; all suffering contains ”˜con-solatio’, the consolation of God’s compassionate love, and so the star of hope rises”.