February 11 is World Day of the Sick, an observation introduced by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses. The day coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes and is an important opportunity for those who serve in Catholic health ministry to reflect on caring for those who are sick as well as those who provide care to them.
On behalf of the Catholic Health Association, we share the following prayer for the 22nd Annual World Day of the Sick:
Memorial of Our Lady Lourdes 22nd World Day of the Sick February 11, 20014
Pope Francis, in his message for the 22nd World Day of the Sick, which is held on February 11 each year, remarked: “When we come together, with tenderness, with those who have need of care, we carry the hope and the smile of God in contradiction to the world.” Emphasizing the themes of faith and charity, the Pope entrusts this day to Mary, the mother of the crucified and risen one, in order to help the sick to live their suffering in communion with Jesus Christ, and to support those who care for them.
Mary and St. John, who stood with her at the foot of the Cross, take us back to the sources of faith and charity, to the heart of God who is love, and remind us that we cannot love God if we do not love our brethren.
Lord, grant your healing grace to all who are sick, injured or disabled, that they may be made whole. Through your loving presence, may all who are lonely, anxious or despondent find comfort and hope. Restore those who are in mental distress to soundness of mind and serenity of spirit.
Bless physicians, nurses and all others who minister to the suffering, granting them wisdom, skill, compassion, faith and charity.
Lord, help us to remain with fortitude beside your Cross. Strengthen all who serve in the ministry of Catholic health care with the virtues of faith and charity, that by their service the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified. We pray through the intercession of Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes. Amen.
We also share a prayer for all those who work in Catholic health care ministry on the World Day of the Sick:
WORLD DAY OF THE SICK BLESSING
Loving God, you created us with the capacity to heal, to restore and to offer peace through our role in Catholic health care ministry. Help us to be signs of love and compassion in the world today — honoring every person we meet who is in need of healing. When our burdens are heavy, renew us, remind us of the blessing of our calling and reawaken our commitment to the healing ministry. Amen.