World Day of the Sick
February 11 is commemorated as the World Day of the Sick. The day was established by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992 to offer prayers for those who are suffering from illnesses. In establishing the day, Pope John Paul II said that he desired it to be "a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one's suffering for the good of the Church, and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ who, by suffering, dying, and rising, achieved the salvation of mankind."
Pope Saint John Paul II chose February 11 as the date because it coincides with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a title given to the Blessed Mother after her appearances to St. Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France, in 1858. Each year, millions travel to Lourdes, seeking healing.
The World Day of the Sick is also an opportunity to recognize the ministry of health-care workers, hospital chaplains, and all who care for the sick, serving as a reminder that they are carrying on the healing ministry of Christ.
"Brothers and sisters, the first form of care needed in any illness is compassionate and loving closeness. To care for the sick thus means above all to care for their relationships, all of them: with God, with others – family members, friends, healthcare workers – with creation and with themselves, Pope Francis wrote in his message for the 32nd annual World Day of the Sick.
In commemoration of the World Day of the Sick, many parishes hold services to pray for the sick and to offer the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. The anointing of the sick is administered to individuals suffering from physical, emotional, or mental illness. It is also administered to those having surgery, even routine procedures. In addition, the sacrament is appropriate for elderly weakened by advanced age or suffering from chronic or long-term illnesses. Anyone struggling or recovering from alcoholism or other addictions can also be anointed, as can individuals being treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or physical therapies.
Parishes offering Anointing of the Sick
Parish of the Holy Savior, Mexico
The Parish of the Holy Savior with hold the Liturgy of the Word with a communal anointing of the sick for anyone suffering from a terminal illness, preparing for surgery, or who is elderly under regular medical care. The service will be held February 11 at 2 p.m. at St. Athanasius & St. John Church, 126 Maine Avenue in Rumford.
St. John Paul II Parish, Scarborough
A Mass with the Anointing of the Sick will be celebrated on Saturday, February 10, at 10 a.m. at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road in Scarborough. The sacrament of the anointing of the sick is for those experiencing a serious illness, facing serious surgery, or impaired by old age. Please consider bringing a loved one in need of this sacrament.
St. Joseph Parish, Farmington
The anointing of the sick will be administered following the Sunday, February 11, 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church, 133 Middle Street in Farmington.
St. Rose of Lima Parish, Jay
The anointing of the sick will be administered following the Saturday, February 10, 4 p.m. Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church in Jay.
** All Prayers are thanks to the Catholic Health Association of the United States