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32nd World Day of the Sick

Pope Francis’ message for the 32nd World Day of the Sick (February 11, 2024)

January 29, 2024, Ottawa – 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. The CCCB invites all the faithful to adopt the compassionate gaze of Jesus towards those who suffer, are alone, marginalized or rejected. By working together to counter the culture of individualism and indifference, we can grow the culture of tenderness and compassion in our society. The CCCB encourages all members of the community to take concrete steps to accompany those who are ill and isolated, whether through prayer, visiting a loved one, offering gratitude to healthcare professionals and volunteers, or other acts of solidarity. Finally, the CCCB entrusts itself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick, that she may intercede on behalf of all and help us to be artisans of outreach and fraternal relationships.

CCCB resources for World Day of the Sick 2024 are available through this link. Additional resources for World Day of the Sick 2024 will be made available in the coming weeks by the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development through this link and on their social media pages. 

Message of the Holy Father - World Day of the Sick 2024
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