World Day of the Sick 2014

The World Day of the Sick is celebrated annually on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11. This feast day commemorates the first of eighteen appearances by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the small village of Lourdes, France. During one of those appearances, Mary told Bernadette to drink from a fountain which miraculously appeared in the grotto. Since that day, the waters of that fountain have been a source of miraculous healing for many of the pilgrims who have visited this site.

This day of prayer, which was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992, has three themes. First, it reminds the entire Church to pray for all 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.

Pope Francis has commended this year’s World Day of the Sick to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of all the sick and suffering. The theme of his message for this world day is “Faith and Charity: We too must give our lives for the brethren.” Focusing on those who are sick and their caregivers, the Pope said: “We thus find ourselves before the mystery of God’s love for us, which gives us hope and courage: hope, because in the plan of God’s love even the night of pain yields to the light of Easter, and courage, which enables us to confront every hardship in his company in union with him.”

You are invited to join with the rest of the Church in praying for those who are sick and for those health care professionals and caregivers who minster to them.