Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, President of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, presented on Thursaday at the Vatican Press office the program of the Twelfth World Day of the Sick, which will be celebrated from February 9 to 11 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Cardinal Lozano explained that this year the World Day of the Sick will take place in Lourdes because “this year marks the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and it was in Lourdes that Mary in one of her apparitions said that she was the Immaculate Conception.”
The theme for the event will be “The Immaculate Conception and Health Care in the Christian Roots of Europe.”
February 9th will be dedicated to studying the situation of health care ministry in every country in Europe.
On February 10th the topics of bioethics and the meaning of the Immaculate Conception as a source of health will be discussed.
Finally, on February 11th the solemn welcoming of the special papal envoy is scheduled as well as a concluding Eucharistic celebration. There will also be a procession with candles and a Eucharistic blessing for the sick and many of them will receive the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
“Our objective,” Cardinal Lozano explained, “is to renew health care ministry all over the world and especially in Europe through the celebration” of this Marian anniversary. “We think that in the Christian roots of Europe there is always the search for harmony through Christ; and Mary in her Immaculate Conception begins this Christian harmony that will mean fullness in health and life in her Assumption.”