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WORLDWIDE FOCUS ON HEALING

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February the 11th is the day people around the world take the time to pray for the sick and for those who work very hard to lighten the sufferings of the sick on this day. It is celebrated yearly on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes (mystical appearance of Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes)

The feast of Lourdes was chosen because many pilgrims and visitors to Lourdes have reportedly be healed by intercessions of the Blessed Virgin. The pontiff was also fond of the sanctuary of Harissa in Lebanon.

Faith organizations mark this day especially to provide the sick with medicines, food, and spiritual guidance.

The World Day of the Sick is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church which was instituted on May 13, 1992 by Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II initiated the day in 1992 to encourage people to pray for those who suffer from illness and for their caregivers. The Pope himself had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s a year before, in 1991, and it is considered that his own illness was the inspiration for his designation of the day.

In 2005, the World Day of the Sick had a special significance since it was the year John Paul died from a sepsis. Many people had gathered around him as he lay dying.

Pope Benedict XVI also declared his decision to resign from his post as the Pope on this day in 2013. He cited his failing health as the reason behind his decision.