Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 7, 2005
Our Lady of Lourdes inspires Febuary 11 World Day of the Sick
By STEVE HILL
Special to the WCR
Since 1992 the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feb. 11, has been designated as the annual celebration of the World Day of the Sick.
A brief history is this: In 1858, near Lourdes in southern France, Mary, the Mother of God, appeared to the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous. Mary told Bernadette to drink from a fountain in the grotto. As people experienced the remarkable healing power of the water, Lourdes became a famous shrine, attracting pilgrims from around the world.
World Day of the Sick is a special occasion for those who are ill to recall God's life-giving presence even in the midst of suffering. God does not abandon us. The God we celebrate at Christmas, Emmanuel, is always "with us" bringing healing and hope.
The staff in Catholic health care facilities can reflect on the significant role that they each play in the healing mission.
God depends on them just as those who are sick depend on them to be the providers of excellent, compassionate health care.
For health care administrators, boards, and the general public, this is a good opportunity to express sincere gratitude for the excellent service that health care staff provide every day of the year.
World Day of the Sick is a reminder of the profound work in which all Catholic health care workers share. Together, we continue the healing and compassionate mission of Jesus in our midst today.
(Steve Hill is director of mission integration for the Alberta Catholic Health Corporation.)
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