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“Sickness has more than one face,” pope's message for World Day of the Sick

Feb. 11 commemorates the 29th edition of World Day of the Sick. It's an occasion to devote special attention to the sick and their caretakers.

Thinking about “those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the worldwide pandemic,” the pope sent a message expressing his closeness to the poor and marginalized.


He makes an invitation “to stop and listen, to establish a direct and personal relationship with others, to feel empathy and compassion, and to let their suffering become our own as we seek to serve them.”

January 4, 2021
“We do not know what 2021 holds for us, but what each one of us, and all of us together, can do is to take care of each other and of creation.”


The pope highlights that “sickness makes us realize our own vulnerability and our innate need of others.”

“Sickness raises the question of life's meaning, which we bring before God in faith. In seeking a new and deeper direction in our lives, we may not find an immediate answer.”

May 10, 2020
“This anguish, in which difficulty is added to difficulty, cannot be overcome alone.”


The pope notes that “sickness always has more than one face. It has the face of all the sick, but also those who feel ignored, excluded and prey to social injustices that deny their fundamental rights.”

March 27, 2020
“In this storm, the facade of those stereotypes with which we camouflaged our egos, always worrying about our image, has fallen away. We carried on unperturbed, thinking we would stay healthy in a world that was sick.”


The pope insists that for a therapy to be effective, it must have a relational aspect, which also helps those who care for the sick to accompany them on a path of healing, thanks to an interpersonal relationship based on trust.

June 22, 2020
“With you, patients often felt they had angels at their sides, who helped them recover their health, and who simultaneously consoled them, supported and sometimes accompanied them to the threshold of the final meeting with the Lord.”

That's why he stressed that “a society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love.”

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: CT