World Day of the Sick
Standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The World Day of the Sick is also a good occasion to focus our attention on centres of care. Down the centuries, showing mercy to the sick led the Christian community to open innumerable “inns of the good Samaritan”, where love and care can be given to people with various kinds of sickness, especially those whose health needs are not being met due to poverty or social exclusion or to the difficulties associated with treating certain pathologies.
In these situations, it is children, the elderly and those who are most frail who most often pay the price. Merciful like the Father, countless missionaries have combined the preaching of the Gospel with the construction of hospitals, dispensaries and care homes. These are precious means whereby Christian charity has taken visible shape and the love of Christ, witnessed by that of his disciples, has become more credible. I think especially of people in the poorest areas of our planet, where it is sometimes necessary to travel long distances to find treatment centres that, albeit with limited resources, offer what is available. We still have a long way to go; in some countries, access to adequate care remains a luxury. We see this, for example, in the scarcity of available vaccines against Covid-19 in poor countries; but even more in the lack of treatment for illnesses that require much simpler medicines.
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