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Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the nineteenth World Day of the Sick

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‘By his wounds you have been healed’ (1 Pt 2:24)

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Every year, on the day of the memorial of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes, which is celebrated on 11 February, the Church proposes the World Day of the Sick. This event, as the venerable John Paul II wanted, becomes a propitious occasion to reflect upon the mystery of suffering and above all to make our communities and civil society more sensitive to our sick brothers and sisters. If every man is our brother, much more must the sick, the suffering and those in need of care be, at the centre of our attention, so that none of them feels forgotten or emarginated; indeed, ‘the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society’ (Encyclical letter Spe salvi, n. 38). The initiatives that will be organised in each diocese on the occasion of this Day should be a stimulus to make care for the suffering increasingly effective, also in view of the solemn celebration that will take place in 2013 at the Marian sanctuary of Altötting in Germany.

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Last Updated on Thursday, February 10 2011  
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Canada’s oldest diocese, the Archdiocese of Quebec, was established in 1674. Most Reverend François de Laval was its first Bishop.