25th World Day of the Sick
February 11, 2017
The World Day of the Sick, was instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992 as a special time of prayer and sharing and of offering one's suffering. Each year it is recognized on Feb. 11, the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, recalling a series of 18 appearances that the Blessed Virgin Mary made to a 14-year-old French peasant girl, Saint Bernadette Soubrious, in the year 1858.
We pray for the needs of the sick and of all those who suffer — the poor, the infirm, the outcast, the marginalized. May they be recognized, no matter how frail, for their innate and inalienable dignity and mission in life. Like Saint Bernadette, who turned her frailty into support for others, may they bring out in others the love and compassion that are part of every created human heart.
May they find healing and hope.
We pray for those who provide care and assist the sick—family members, health workers and volunteers—that they may accompany the infirm and show them the love of God made manifest in human hands and hearts. We pray for those in different roles of service and in health care institutions throughout the world, that they will be strengthened in their professionalism and dedication to the sick and the suffering. May they, like Mary, serve to be models of surrender to the will of God.
May they bring healing and hope.
With Pope Francis, we pray to Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes. May she may obtain for us from Christ her Son, hope, responsibility, commitment, gratitude and joy.
Mary, our Mother,
In Christ you welcome each of us as a son or daughter.
Sustain the trusting expectation of our hearts,
succor us in our infirmities and sufferings,
and guide us to Christ, your Son and our brother.
Help us to entrust ourselves to the Father who accomplishes
A Prayer For Those Who Are Ill
God our Father, we bring before you today those who suffer from illness or disability—those whose lives are profoundly affected by their illness.
When they feel fragile and broken,
remind them that you call them by name
and hold them in the palm of your hand.
When they feel devalued, remind them
that they are made in the image Jesus.
When they are reminded of different times in the past,
lead them to grow in the faith that you love them today, as they are,
in the reality of their lives this day.
When they feel uncertain and fearful about the future,
lead them to that perfect love which casts out all fear.
When situations remind them not of what they can do,
but of what they cannot do, remind them that love never fails.
May all of us, whatever our circumstances, never be so taken up with our own concerns that we do not see or respond to the needs of others, especially those who suffer in our midst. May we live with courage to respond to the challenges that each of us faces. Amen.
A Prayer for Caregivers
Let us reflect on what it means to be a “healing presence.”
It is a call …
To listen more than we speak
To remain calm even when others are in chaos
To stay clear and focused even when no clear direction is apparent
To value people exactly as they are and not as we think they should be
To be with people who are suffering, rather than trying to have all of the answers
or explain that which ultimately is “mystery”
To let go of the temptation to show only the clinical and professional side and
hold back the personal and human side of caring
Healing presence is not about doing something, it is about being present. And, when we enter this vulnerable state of simply
with another person who is in pain or in sorrow, we experience the healing power of God.
And so we pray …Good and gracious God,
You are the source of all healing. In you we have a share of the wonderful ministry we call “healing presence.” Today, we pray for caregivers, that your grace moves through each of them to reveal your healing touch, your compassionate glance, your consoling words. Bless them in a special way today and strengthen them so that they might continue to be your healing presence to others. We ask this in the power of your Holy Name. Amen.
A Prayer for Spiritual Caregivers
It is a cry that we hear every day in our Catholic hospitals and nursing homes: "I want to see." In some circumstances, it is a cry for physical sight that has been taken away by age or accident. But in many circumstances, it is a cry for meaning and insight as persons suffer spiritual crises spurred by ill health and disaster. What is the meaning of life with disability? Is there purpose in my pain? How could a good God allow this to happen? What happens after I die? Spiritual care is not unique to Catholic hospitals and nursing homes, but it is integral to their identity. Catholic teaching lifts the importance of honoring the whole person — both body and spirit — seeing the two as integrally connected. It would be impossible for us to offer Catholic health care without dedicating colleagues to spiritual care. They go by many different names — chaplains, pastoral caregivers, spiritual companions and more. Most are professionals who've prepared for their ministry with years of study and certification. Others are generous volunteers from the local community. All help us to fulfill our mission in an explicit way. And today we give thanks for their presence in our midst. Bless these women and men whom you have called to serve you as spiritual companions of the infirm and suffering. Make them ministers of the "sight" that we all need in our lives in times of trial. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the healer, who attends to both body and spirit. Amen.
A Blessing for Nurses
May rest find you,
In the peaceful moments when all is still,
In the quiet times when you pause
May rest find you
In the chaos of the moment
In the sorrow you seek to heal.
May rest strengthen and bless you.
May it fill your spirit
And give you unearned joy.
May you find rest in the care of others,
In the knowledge of your worth,
In the value of your service.
May the One who gives rest
Bless you and hold you close.
And may you, in your very being,
Be a place of rest for others.