.- On Saturday, the Vatican made public a message of thanks from the Holy Father given to Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, president of the Pontifical Council for the Health Care Ministry.
The message came on the occasion of Friday's celebration of the 13th World Day of the Sick, whose principal celebration took place in Yaounde, Cameroon from February 9 to 11. The Message to the cardinal, dated February 1st, was written in French.
The Pope expressed his thanks to the president of Cameroon for hosting this world day, and also greeted the bishops, priests, deacons and men and women religious and, "in particular, all the health care personnel because it is due to their generous commitment that the sick receive attention and assistance.”
He said that, “My thoughts join in a special way you, dear brothers and sisters, who are sick and who carry in your bodies the signs of suffering and fragility and you, their families, who are closest to them in their daily lives: I am close to you with my heartfelt affection."
"This year," the Holy Father continued, "the celebration of the World Day of the Sick takes place once again in Africa, a continent marked by many and serious problems, but also a continent rich in extraordinary human and spiritual resources, and animated by an intense desire for authentic peace and progress.”
Africa suffers because of the many sick people who, on her soil, silently invoke the solidarity of the entire world.”
“Dear brothers and sisters of Africa,” the John Paul concluded, “Jesus is 'a man Who knows suffering'. In this year consecrated to the Eucharist, I invite you to unite yourselves in your thoughts and in your heart to the sacrifice of the Mass, an endless source of hope for all of life's trials."