The Armchair Liturgist: World Day of the Sick


Looking ahead to liturgy action this coming weekend, what plans does your parish have for observing the World Day of the Sick? What would you do differently? C’mon; sit in the big purple chair and pontificate, if you would.

From Zenit, here are appropriate portions of the pope’s decree:

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful that, with the usual conditions — sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions — and with a spirit detached from all sin, take part with devotion, next Feb. 11, in the city of Seoul or in any other place established by the ecclesiastical authority, in a sacred ceremony celebrated to implore God for the objectives of the 15th World Day of the Sick.

The faithful who in public hospitals or private homes assist the sick with charity as ‘good Samaritans,’ especially the incurable or terminal and, because of their service cannot take part in the ceremony indicated earlier, will obtain the same gift of the plenary indulgence, if on that day they generously give at least an hour of their charitable assistance to the sick as if they did it to Christ the Lord himself, having their spirit detached from all sin and the intention to comply, as soon as possible, with the conditions needed to obtain the plenary indulgence.

The faithful who because of illness, advanced age or any other similar reason cannot take part in the indicated ceremony, will obtain the plenary indulgence, on the condition that, having the spirit detached from all sin and intending to fulfill as soon as possible the usual conditions, on that day united to the Holy Father, take part spiritually with desire in the above-said celebration and offer to God, through the Virgin Mary, ‘Health of the Sick,’ their physical and spiritual sufferings.

… grants the plenary indulgence to all the faithful, from Feb. 9 to 11, every time that with a contrite heart they address to the merciful God devout prayers to implore the above said objectives in assistance to the sick, in particular of the incurable or terminal.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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4 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: World Day of the Sick

  1. FrMichael says:

    As usual, it’s too late to get the word out and take advantage of this unique gift.

    Two weeks, that all I need. Two weeks to meet the bulletin deadline, publicize at the Mass, and get visits arranged. Tuesday of the week of doesn’t cut it.

  2. Todd says:

    FrMichael, I know exactly what you mean. I think this second Sunday in February is a pretty standard thing, though not well publicized in the States.

  3. Liam says:


    Yes, but it’s been standardized around February 11th, the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, which happens to fall on a Sunday this year.

  4. Todd says:

    Ah! That’s right, Liam. I knew there was a reason it was on the 11th.

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