Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila reminded the faithful to always care for the sick ahead of the observance of the World Day of the Sick on February 11, feast of the Our Lady of Lourdes.
The prelate also reminded everyone to keep themselves healthy, noting that it is during the pandemic “that we learned to appreciate the value of good health.”
The apostolic administrator of Manila said in an interview over radio Veritas 846 that the Church should be ready to extend a helping hand to those who are sick.
“The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be administered to anyone who needs it, because there is a need to heal the whole person, in body and spirit,” said Bishop Pabillo.
The prelate reminded Filipinos to be vigilant and to keep on practicing the government’s health guidelines such as the wearing of face masks, the washing of hands, and avoiding crowded places.
As of February 8, the Department of Health reported 1,690 additional coronavirus cases, bringing to 538,995 the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections nationwide.
Of the total, 27,992, or 5.2 percent, are active cases with about 94 percent classified as mild cases.
The department reported only 23 additional recoveries on Monday. To date, 499,772 people have recovered from COVID-19 in the country.
The illness, however, claimed the lives of 52 more patients, taking the death toll to 11,231.
Bishop Pabillo urged the faithful to ask for the intercession of the Our Lady of Lourdes and to pray for the healing of those who have been affected by the disease.
In his message for the 29th World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis called for a society that cares effectively for its “most frail and suffering members in a spirit of fraternal love.”
The World Day of the Sick was instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II on May 13, 1992, and the first World Day of the Sick was marked the following year.
The theme of this year’s observance is, “You have but one teacher and you are all brothers” (Mt 23:8), which calls for “a trust-based relationship to guide care for the sick”.
Pope Francis said the annual day “is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities.”