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Pope Francis: Anointing of the Sick evokes parable of the Good Samaritan

Catholic World News - February 26, 2014

Speaking before a crowd of 50,000, Pope Francis devoted his February 26 general audience to the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

“At the moment of pain and sickness we are not alone,” Pope Francis said, as he compared Christ’s action in the sacrament to the parable of the Good Samaritan. The oil in the parable, he said, calls to mind the oil blessed by the bishop during the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass; the wine in the parable “is a sign of the love and grace of Christ,” and the inn calls to mind the Church.

Citing the Letter of St. James, Pope Francis noted that the sacrament has existed since apostolic times and warned the faithful not to give heed to the superstition that calling a priest for anointing brings bad luck.

Pope Francis added that the sacrament is intended for those who are “gravely ill or elderly … Every elderly person, every person over 65 years old can receive this sacrament.”

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