World Day of the Sick

The World Day of the Sick is celebrated annually on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11.

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 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 entrusted this year’s World Day of the Sick to the maternal protection of Mary, the Mother of all the sick and suffering. The theme of his message for this world day is “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame (Job 29:15).”

In his apostolic letter, which was made public on December 31, 2014, Pope Francis considers this theme from the perspective of  “sapientia cordis “ – the wisdom of the heart.


This “wisdom” is no theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning.  Rather, it is, as Saint James describes it in his Letter, “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity” (3:17).  It is a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God. Wisdom of the heart means serving our brothers and sisters…. Wisdom of the heart means being with our brothers and sisters….  Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters…. Wisdom of the heart means showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters while not judging them.

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.