New Zealand parishes are being encouraged to mark this year’s World Day of the Sick through prayer, reflecting on a video, anointing of the sick and a pastoral response acknowledging care givers.
World Day of the Sick was first instigated by St. John Paul II in1992, designated to the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11 each year.
Each year, a city somewhere in the world is nominated to mark this day of remembrance. For 2019 it will be Calcutta. This year, the 27th World Day of the Sick, the Holy Father is sending Cardinal Drozario to represent him to Calcutta, which has long been associated with St Mother Teresa. Pope Francis highlighted St Mother Teresa as a model of charity, demonstrating God’s love for the poor and sick through all she did.
Hospital Chaplaincy leader, Tony Lenton says, “Pope Francis says that caring for the sick requires generosity, in freely giving our time, caring for and being tender in our approach with others.” In his message, the Holy Father draws on Jesus’s words to the Apostles, “You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).(image, Hospital chaplain, Margaret Maurice with patient)