Addressing the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square during his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis recalled that the 11 February marks the World Day of the Sick, which, he said, “this year draws attention to the importance of relationships in illness”.
In this regard, the Pope noted that the first thing that we need when we are sick is “the closeness of loved ones” as well as that of health workers and of God.
“We are all called to be close to those who suffer” stressed the Pope, expressing his closeness “and that of the whole Church” to those who are sick or frail.
Pope Francis then went on to highlight that it is not possible to keep silent, as this day is celebrated, “about the fact that there are so many people today who are denied the right to care, and therefore the right to life!”
“I am thinking of those living in extreme poverty; but I am also thinking of the territories of war: there, fundamental human rights are violated every day! It is intolerable”. Pope Francis then prayed for Ukraine, Palestine and Israel, before renewing his prayers for Myanmar, where Rohingya Muslims, for whom the Holy Father prayed during his General Audience on 7 February, continue to be subject to extreme violence and ethnic persecution.