Earlier this year, the Vatican published Pope Francis’ message for the 32nd World Day of the Sick, celebrated each year on February 11. The Holy Father’s message for this year is entitled: “It is not good that man should be alone” – Caring for the sick by caring for relationships. Echoing the Holy Father’s message, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) renews its commitment to prayer and accompaniment of the sick. Pope Francis reminds us of the fundamental importance of human relationships in the process of healing and comforting the sick.
The Holy Father refers to the biblical passage from the Book of Genesis, emphasizing that God created man by endowing him with vital relationships, and that loneliness, the result of sin, can lead to suffering and isolation. Pope Francis’ message urges us to care for relationships with compassion and tenderness, while recalling the example of the Good Samaritan who approached his neighbor with deep compassion. The Holy Father also stresses that the sick, the fragile and the poor must be at the heart of the Church and at the center of our pastoral concerns.
The World Day of the Sick offers us another opportunity to pray for all those who suffer, and to reflect on our commitment to them.