This is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of February

anointing of the sick A priest administers anointing of the sick. | Credit: Kristina Ismulyani/Shutterstock

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of February is for the terminally ill. 

“When some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-carable. But they are not the same,” the Holy Father said in a video released Jan. 30. 

“Even when little chance for a cure exists, every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual, and human assistance,” he said, adding: “Sometimes they can’t talk; sometimes we think they don’t recognize us. But if we take them by the hand, we know they are relating with us.”

Pope Francis pointed out that “healing is not always possible” but that, however, “we can always care for the sick person, caress them.”

The pope quoted St. John Paul II, who used to say: “Cure if it is possible; always take care.”

“And this is where palliative care comes in. It guarantees the patient not only medical attention but also human assistance and closeness,” Francis said.

The Holy Father emphasized that “families should not be left alone in these difficult moments.”

“Their role is decisive,” he said. “They need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual, and social support.”

He concluded with a prayer: “Let us pray that the terminally ill and their families always receive the necessary medical and human care and assistance.”

Pope Francis’ prayer video is promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which raises awareness of monthly papal prayer intentions.

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