· Vatican City ·

Pope Francis’ February prayer intention

For the terminally ill

 For the terminally ill  ING-006
09 February 2024

“Let us pray that the sick who are in the final stages of life, and their families, receive the necessary medical and human care and accompaniment”. This is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for February, the month in which the Church observes World Day of the Sick (11 February). “When some people talk about terminal illnesses”, he notes in the video produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, “there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-carable. But they are not the same”. He goes on to explain that “even when little chance for a cure exists, every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance. Sometimes they can’t talk; sometimes we think they don’t recognize us. But if we take them by the hand, we know they are relating with us”. The video shows a series of people with different illnesses being cared for by medical staff and family members. The Pope stresses that “healing is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them”. He quotes Saint John Paul ii , who used to say, “cure if it is possible; always take care”. The Pope goes on to reflect on the importance of palliative care, which he says “guarantees the patient not only medical attention, but also human assistance and closeness”. He also affirms that “families should not be left alone in these difficult moments” and that they have a decisive role to play in these situations. “They need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support”.

Commenting on the prayer intention, Fr Frédéric Fornos, sj , International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said that “when illness knocks on the door of our life, the need arises in us that someone be close to us, to look into our eyes, to take us by the hand, to show us tenderness and care for us, like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel parable”.

Available online at www.thepopevideo.org and translated into more than 23 languages, the video for the prayer intention for February was created and produced by the Worldwide Prayer network, in collaboration with La Machi Agency and the Dicastery for Communication.