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Background: World Day of the Sick

Catholic World News - February 11, 2014

February 11 is the 22nd World Day of the Sick, a commemoration that was instituted by Blessed John Paul II and takes place each year on the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The title of Pope Francis’s message for the day is entitled “Faith and Charity: ‘We Ought to Lay Down Our Lives for One Another,’” a reference to a text from the First Letter of St. John.

In his letter instituting the commemoration, Pope John Paul wrote that the day should 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.”

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