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February 11 is observed universally as the World Day of the Sick. On this day, people around the world take time to pray for the sick and for those who work very hard to alleviate the sufferings of the sick. World Day of the Sick is an observation started by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses. The day coincides with the commemoration day of Our Lady of Lourdes. Faith organizations mark this day especially to provide the sick with medicines, food, and spiritual guidance.
World Day of the Sick 2023 – History
Pope John Paul II was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991, a disease which has no cure but can be treated to relieve the symptoms and maintain the quality of life. It is believed that this illness prompted the Pope to set aside a day to pray for those suffering from illness. It is also believed that the Pope chose this day to be observed as the World Day of Sick as it is the day of commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. February 11 is the Catholic Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is a name given to Virgin Mary in honor of the apparitions that were said to have been seen in and around Lourdes, France, by a young girl called Bernadette Soubirous. It is also reported that many visitors and pilgrims who visited Lourdes, France has r have been healed at the Marian Sanctuary. Thus in 1992, Pope John Paul II established the World Day of the Sick to remind people to pray for the sick all around the world. The day was first observed on February 11, 1993. On this day, people offer prayers for those suffering from illness and also for their caregivers who have dedicated their time and health for the care and treatment of the sick. Pope Benedict XVI declared his decision to resign from his post as the Pope on this day in 2013. His failing health was sited as the reason behind this decision.
World Day of the Sick 2023 – Theme
“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36). Standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity”. This message of Pope Francis for the 30th World Day of the Sick, is considered as the theme of the day.
World Day of the Sick 2023 – Wishes
“Look with abundant mercy on all who suffer in body, mind or spirit. Help them and take care of them on this World Day of Sick”
“The World Day of the Ill is a chance for those who work in Catholic health ministry to reflect on how they care for the sick and those who care for them. Happy World Sickness Day!”
“Grant healing and hope to the sick, the wounded and the dying in their darkest hours, so they may witness the power of your healing presence in the world. Happy World Day of Sick.”
“Those who care for the sick and give of themselves with generosity and straightforward love like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta are amongst the Church’s most loved.”
“Caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved”
“Come together to pray for those who are sick and for all who participate in their care and celebrate this World Day of the Sick. Do your part, Make a difference.”
Observing Word Day of the Sick 2023
Every individual can do their bit on this day by praying for the sick and their caretakers. Visit the sick in local hospitals, old age houses etc., pray for them and volunteer to help them. One can also provide food and medication to the less fortunate. Create awareness about the World Day of the Sick by using the hashtag #WorldDayOfTheSick on social media.
List of Some Common Diseases and Illness
It has been observed that up to 95% of rare diseases don’t have an FDA-approved treatment for them. In such cases, the one suffering from the illness needs tender care and support from their loved ones and those around them. Being familiar with some of the common illness affecting the people will help us reach out to those suffering in a much better way. Listed below are some of the common disease people suffer from:
Alzheimer’s – a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills.
Heart disease – a condition that cause cardiovascular problems
Cancer – a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body.
Parkinson’s – a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.
Tuberculosis – caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It usually attack the lungs, but can also attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain.
Pneumonia – an infection that inflames your lungs’ air sacs (alveoli).
Covid-19 – is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On this World day of the Sick let us take a pledge to make a collective effort to try to alleviate the sufferings of the sick.