World Day of the Sick

World Day of the Sick

In 1992, Pope John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick. It is celebrated annually on February 11, which is also the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year, World Day of the Sick will be solemnly celebrated at the Marian Shrine of Altötting in Germany, at which the Pope will be represented by a special envoy named by him.

World Day of the Sick has three themes.  First, it reminds the entire Church to pray for those who are sick. Second, the celebration invites all Christians to reflect on and respond to human suffering and pain. Third, this day recognizes and honours all those who work in health care and serve as caregivers.

In this year’s message for World Day of the Sick, Pope Benedict XVI uses the parable of the Good Samaritan and calls on all Christians to “do good to those who suffer and do good through your own suffering.” The theme of this year’s World Day of the Sick comes from that parable: “Go and do likewise.”  You are invited to join with the rest of the Church in praying the Prayer for the XXI World Day of the Sick.