VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a message for the 2017 World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis called for renewed efforts in facing today’s challenges in health care and in promoting respect for life.
“May we find new incentive to work for the growth of a culture of respect for life, health and the environment,” he said, and may the day “also inspire renewed efforts to defend the integrity and dignity of persons, not least through a correct approach to bioethical issues, the protection of the vulnerable and the protection of the environment.”
The World Day of the Sick is celebrated annually Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Vatican released the text of the papal message Dec. 15.
Thanking those who care for the sick, the elderly and those who suffer or are in need, the pope underlined the importance of treating everyone with respect and care because “every person is, and always remains, a human being.”
Even those who have serious disabilities or are debilitated “have their own inalienable dignity and mission in life. They never become simply objects. If at times they appear merely passive, in reality that is never the case,” he said.
Inspired by the selfless love and obedience of Mary and Jesus, the church continues to serve those who suffer or are in need, the pope said.
“The solidarity shown by Christ,” with his birth and then death on the cross for the redemption of humanity, “is the expression of God’s merciful omnipotence, which is made manifest in our life — above all when that life is frail, pain-filled, humbled, marginalized and suffering — and fills it with the power of hope that can sustain us and enable us to get up again.”
The pope asked that “this great wealth of humanity and faith” not be lost or forgotten.
“It should inspire us to speak openly of our human weaknesses and to address the challenges of present-day health care and technology,” he said, leading to greater efforts to build a culture of respect for life, health and the environment.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Pope: World needs nonviolent responses to social, political problems
NEXT: Corruption is cancer to health industry, pope tells hospital staffers
Share this story