February  11. Our Lady of Lourdes. Day of Prayer for the Sick. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” Ernest had been infected with Covid-19 in the early days and been hospitalized for some time.  On his eventual recovery he decided to become a “prayer warrior” and promote a prayer campaign inviting especially those who had experienced the disease to support healthcare workers and encourage families to be caring, vigilant and responsible in their behaviour towards the issue of vaccination. “We cannot let up on praying for an end to the pandemic which has caused so much suffering and misery all over the world.” “Shouldn’t we remember our world which is also mortally ill?” Becoming an eco-friendly family:  Read, reflect and share Pope Francis’ message for this day.  

Pope Francis Message for Thirtieth World Day of the Sick:  The theme chosen for this Day of the Sick, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36), makes us first turn our gaze towards God, who is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4); he always watches over his children with a father’s love, even when they turn away from him. Mercy is God’s name; not as an occasional sentimental feeling but as an ever-present and active force, it expresses God’s very nature.  It combines strength and tenderness. We can say with wonder and gratitude that God cares for us with the strength of a father and the tenderness of a mother; he unceasingly desires to give us new life in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the supreme witness of the mercy of the Father.  He went about teaching and preaching and healing every disease.  He made it paramount in the mission of the apostles sending them out to proclaim the Gospel and heal the sick.   When individuals experience frailty and suffering in their own flesh as a result of illness, their hearts become heavy, fear spreads, uncertainties multiply, and questions about the meaning of what is happening in their lives become all the more urgent. How can we forget  all those patients who, during this time of pandemic spent the last part of their earthly life in solitude, in an intensive care unit, assisted by generous healthcare workers, yet far from their loved ones and the most important people in their lives? This helps us to see how important is the presence at our side of witnesses to God’s charity, who, following the example of Jesus, the very mercy of the Father, pour the balm of consolation and the wine of hope on the wounds of the sick. [3] 

Dear brothers and sisters, to the intercession of Mary, Health of the Infirm, I entrust all the sick and their families. United with Christ, who bears the pain of the world, may they find meaning, consolation and trust. I pray for healthcare workers everywhere, that, rich in mercy, they may offer patients, together with suitable care, their fraternal closeness.