Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Bishop Knestout’s Message for World Day of the Sick 2021

February 11, 2021

Bishop Knestout’s Message for World Day of the Sick 2021

“On this World Day of the Sick, we are called to pray for many of our brothers and sisters.

“We pray for those who are physically ill. We not only place before our Lord those who have COVID, but we pray for all who are undergoing treatment for illnesses that affect their bodies.

“We remember the elderly, the weak and the vulnerable, that they receive care that provides them with the healing they seek while respecting their human dignity.

“We hold up in prayer the terminally ill, that they no longer see illness and death as a tragic end, but as a heroic passage from this life to eternal life with our loving and merciful God.

“We know that illness, like the inevitability of death, challenges our faith like no other experience. Long illness accompanied by extended periods of suffering or pain can produce anger, resentment, despair and isolation. It is a grace of our faith and the presence of God in our lives if we can experience such trial, but come through it with faith, peace, thanksgiving and hope.

“We pray for those who suffer from mental illness, especially PTSD and addictions of any kind. May they accept the treatment necessary for them to learn how to live a fruitful life despite their illnesses.

“We pray for family members of the sick and for their caregivers. In bringing comfort to those in need, they are following the example of Jesus. May they know that God is always with them and that the Holy Spirit will guide them in the decisions they make and the service they provide.

“Finally, we continually offer prayers of thanksgiving for our health care personnel, volunteers, support staff, priests, men and women religious who, as Pope Francis notes ‘have helped, treated, comforted and served so many of the sick and their families with professionalism, self-giving, responsibility and love of neighbor… they chose not to look the other way but to share the suffering of patients, whom they saw as neighbors and members of our one human family.’

“As our Church marks this World Day of the Sick, our Holy Father reminds us that we must match our words with actions in reaching out to the sick, that we must personally be the presence of Christ to them.”