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Pope’s February prayer intention: For the terminally ill

Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of February 2024 and invites everyone to pray for the terminally ill and their families

Pope Francis, in the February edition of The Pope Video, requests prayers and a commitment to the terminally ill and their families. He emphasizes the distinction between incurable and un-carable, citing John Paul II’s words: “Cure if it is possible; always take care.” The video message shows various scenes, including a couple embracing by the sea, a girl hugging her grandfather in a hospital room, and a patient being assisted by a nurse in a garden. It highlights the importance of caring for the sick, even when a cure is unlikely. Every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual, and human assistance. Pope Francis acknowledges that healing is not always possible, but we can always care for and caress the sick person.

It is not a question about unnecessarily prolonging suffering. Rather, the Pope insists on the importance of palliative care and the role of the family who, as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith writes in the letter Samaritanus bonus of 2020, “remains at the bedside of the sick to bear witness to their unique and unrepeatable value.”

In today’s throw-away culture, terminally ill individuals are often overlooked, leading to the growing temptation of euthanasia. Pope Francis urges us to view the sick with love and understanding, realizing that physical contact can bring comfort even to those who can no longer communicate or recognize their own relatives. Palliative care plays a vital role in providing the necessary medical attention, human assistance and closeness to patients. The family also has a crucial role, offering physical, spiritual, and social support to the sick. The Pope calls for prayers and a commitment from everyone to ensure that the terminally ill and their families receive the care and assistance they need.

Father Frédéric Fornos, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, addresses the question of why prayer is necessary. He explains that when illness affects our lives, we yearn for someone to be by our side, to show us tenderness and care, just like the Good Samaritan in the Gospel. Prayer is a way to express this love and provide support to the terminally ill. It is essential alongside medical assistance. Families play a crucial role during these difficult moments, and their presence and assistance are invaluable. Let us pray for the terminally ill and their families to always receive the necessary care and assistance they deserve.



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