On 13 May 1992, a number of years following an assassination attempt on his life that led to a time of suffering and the experience of being seriously ill in hospital, Saint Pope John Paul II launched a World Day of the Sick, which coincides each year in the Church across the world with the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February. Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have continued this special World Day – an occasion during which the whole Church bears witness as always with special concern to the tender mercy and love of God towards all who suffer. It is a time to reflect on the needs of all who suffer, to pause and be prayerfully in solidarity with those who experience illness and with all who care for those who are facing sickness.
Please find attached from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, his letter for 29th World Day of the Sick, 2021 and also some themes/hints for our reflection, relating to the 2021 World Day of the Sick Message of the Holy Father, from Cardinal Turkson and The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Pope Francis always encourages us to experience the merciful face of Jesus, showing his mercy and tenderness to those who live through sickness and suffering, respecting their own inalienable dignity and mission in life, as we serve life and health.
“The celebration of the XXIX World Day of the Sick on 11 February 2021, the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities. We think in particular of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. To all, and especially to the poor and the marginalized, I express my spiritual closeness and assure them of the Church’s loving concern”
Francis, 29th World Day of the Sick
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. Mary, Mother of God, full of mercy, pray for us. Blessed Joseph her Spouse, pray for us.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left.
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I bind to myself today the strong name of the Trinity.
With kindest wishes and on behalf of Trish Conway, Coordinator of the Dublin Diocesan Committee for 29th World Day of the Sick.