By Deborah Castellano Lubov
Pope Francis' monthly prayer intention this February is for the terminally ill and their families.
The Pope invited the Church to pray for this intention in this month's The Pope Video, which is entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
This month's Video comes during the month in which the Church observes the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11 February, on which the World Day of the Sick takes place.
Pope Francis explains that “when some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-'carable.' But they are not the same.”
Caring even if cannot cure
He cites his predecessor Pope St. John Paul II, in saying, "Cure if it is possible; always take care.”
The images from The Pope Video for February exemplify situations showing love and tenderness for the terminally ill, and depending on how they are interpreted, depict a series of failures or successes, the failures being "if the only acceptable outcome is a cure," and successes instead being "if the objective is the care of the patient."
Pope Francis explains clearly that even when little chance for a cure exists, “every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance.”
“Healing," he acknowledges, "is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them.”
Guarantee of closeness and support
Reflecting on the importance of palliative care, Pope Francis reaffirms that such care “guarantees the patient not only medical attention," but also "human assistance and closeness.”
Meanwhile, when speaking about the role of the family, he underscores that those suffering “should not be left alone in these difficult moments."
The role of the family "is decisive," the Pope said, stressing relatives "need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support.”
Pope Francis concludes by asking for prayers and a commitment from everyone so that “the terminally ill and their families always receive the necessary medical and human care and assistance.”
The Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network
The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father's monthly prayer intentions. It is carried out by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). Since 2016, The Pope Video has had more than 203 million views across all the Vatican’s social networks and is translated into more than 23 languages, receiving press coverage in 114 countries.
The videos are produced and created by The Pope Video Prayer Network team, coordinated by Andrea Sarubbi, and distributed by La Machi Communication for Good Causes. The project is sponsored by Vatican Media. For more information: The Pope Video.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. These challenges are presented in the form of prayer intentions entrusted by the Pope to the entire Church.