Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of February 2024, and invites everyone to pray for the terminally ill and their families.
Pope Francis’ monthly prayer intention this February is for the terminally ill and their families.
The Pope invited the Church to pray for this intention in this month’s The Pope Video, which is entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
This month’s Video comes during the month in which the Church observes the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February, on which the World Day of the Sick takes place.
Pope Francis explains that “when some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-‘carable.’ But they are not the same.”
Caring even if cannot cure
He cites his predecessor Pope St. John Paul II, in saying, “Cure if it is possible; always take care.”
The images from The Pope Video for February exemplify situations showing love and tenderness for the terminally ill, and depending on how they are interpreted, depict a series of failures or successes, the failures being “if the only acceptable outcome is a cure,” and successes instead being “if the objective is the care of the patient.”
Pope Francis explains clearly that even when little chance for a cure exists, “every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance.”
“Healing,” he acknowledges, “is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them.”
Guarantee of closeness and support
Reflecting on the importance of palliative care, Pope Francis reaffirms that such care “guarantees the patient not only medical attention,” but also “human assistance and closeness.”
Meanwhile, when speaking about the role of the family, he underscores that those suffering “should not be left alone in these difficult moments.”
The role of the family “is decisive,” the Pope said, stressing relatives “need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support.”
Pope Francis concludes by asking for prayers and a commitment from everyone so that “the terminally ill and their families always receive the necessary medical and human care and assistance.”
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network
The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions. It is carried out by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). Since 2016, The Pope Video has had more than 203 million views across all the Vatican’s social networks and is translated into more than 23 languages, receiving press coverage in 114 countries.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. These challenges are presented in the form of prayer intentions entrusted by the Pope to the entire Church.
The full text of the Pope’s prayer intention is below:
When some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-carable. But they are not the same.
Even when little chance for a cure exists, every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance.
Sometimes they can’t talk; sometimes we think they don’t recognize us. But if we take them by the hand, we know they are relating with us.
Healing is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them.
Saint John Paul II used to say, “cure if it is possible; always take care.”
And this is where palliative care comes in. It guarantees the patient not only medical attention, but also human assistance and closeness.
Families should not be left alone in these difficult moments.
Their role is decisive. They need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support.
Let us pray that the terminally ill and their families always receive the necessary medical and human care and assistance.
A Mass for the World Day of the Sick, including the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, will be held at 11am on Saturday 10 February 2024 at St Patrick’s Church, Mary, Queen of the Family Parish, Blacktown. All are welcome, including those who may be sick, and those who care for the sick and dying and health care professionals. Please RSVP by 6 February 2024 by visiting https://parracatholic.org/events/diocesan-world-day-of-the-sick-mass/
With thanks to Vatican News and Deborah Castellano Lubov, where this article originally appeared.