Pope Francis has announced his prayer intention for February, urging the global Catholic community to join him in praying for the terminally ill and their families.
The announcement was made through The Pope Video, an initiative by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, aimed at disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions.
The call for prayer aligns with the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11, coinciding with the World Day of the Sick, according to Vatican News.
Pope Francis emphasized the distinction between incurable and un-‘carable,’ quoting Pope St. John Paul II, who advocated for care even in the absence of a cure. “Cure if it is possible; always take care,” reiterated the Pope.
In The Pope Video for February, poignant scenes depict expressions of love and tenderness towards the terminally ill. Pope Francis elucidated that success in caring for the terminally ill is measured by the objective of patient care rather than solely focusing on a cure.
He emphasized the right of every sick person to medical, psychological, spiritual, and human assistance, even in cases where a cure seems unlikely. “Healing is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them,” he said.
The pontiff underscored the importance of palliative care, stating that it not only provides medical attention but also human assistance and closeness.
Pope Francis called for a holistic approach, acknowledging that healing may not always be possible, but caring for the sick person is an obligation that extends to providing comfort and compassion. “Every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual, and human assistance,” he said.
Addressing the role of the family, Pope Francis highlighted the decisive impact relatives can have on the well-being of the terminally ill.
He stressed the need for families to have access to adequate resources to offer physical, spiritual, and social support during challenging times.
“The role of the family is decisive. Relatives need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual, and social support,” he said.