The World Day of the Sick is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church which was instituted on 13 May 1992 by Pope John Paul II. Beginning on 11 February 1993, it is celebrated every year on the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, for all believers seeks to be "a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one's suffering".
Our Lady of Lourdes is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honour of the Marian apparitions that reportedly occurred in 1858 in the vicinity of Lourdes in France. The first of these is the apparition of 11 February 1858, when 14-year old Bernadette Soubirous told her mother that a "lady" spoke to her in the cave of Massabielle while she was gathering firewood with her sister and a friend. Similar apparitions of the "Lady" were reported on seventeen occasions that year, until the climax revelation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception took place.
Pope John Paul II had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease as early as 1991, an illness which was only disclosed later, and it is significant that he decided to create a World Day of the Sick only one year after his diagnosis.The Pope had written a great deal on the topic of suffering and believed that it was very much a salvific and redeeming process through Christ, as he indicated in his apostolic letter Salvifici Doloris.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. Non-motor symptoms, however, become increasingly common as the disease worsens. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. Depression and anxiety are also common, occurring in more than a third of people with PD. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. The main motor symptoms are collectively called "parkinsonism", or a "parkinsonian syndrome".
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective phenomena. The opposite of suffering is pleasure or happiness.
The feast of Lourdes was chosen because many pilgrims and visitors to Lourdes have reportedly been healed by intercessions of the Blessed Virgin. The pontiff was also fond of the sanctuary of Harissa in Lebanon.
Lourdes is a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is part of the Hautes-Pyrénées department in the Occitanie region in south-western France. Prior to the mid-19th century, the town was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its center.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.
In 2005, the World Day of the Sick had a special significance since it was the year John Paul died from a sepsis. Many people had gathered around him as he lay dying.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body's response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs. Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion. There may also be symptoms related to a specific infection, such as a cough with pneumonia, or painful urination with a kidney infection. In the very young, old, and people with a weakened immune system, there may be no symptoms of a specific infection and the body temperature may be low or normal, rather than high. Severe sepsis is sepsis causing poor organ function or insufficient blood flow. Insufficient blood flow may be evident by low blood pressure, high blood lactate, or low urine output. Septic shock is low blood pressure due to sepsis that does not improve after fluid replacement.
In 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation during this feast day, and he cited his declining health as his reason for retiring.
Pope Benedict XVI is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "Pope Emeritus" upon his resignation.
The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI occurred on 28 February 2013 at 20:00 CET, after having been announced on the morning of 11 February 2013 directly by himself. Benedict XVI's decision to step down as leader of the Catholic Church made him the first pope to relinquish the office since Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Celestine V in 1294.
Pope John Paul II was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.
Pope Saint Paul VI was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978. Succeeding John XXIII, he continued the Second Vatican Council which he closed in 1965, implementing its numerous reforms, and fostered improved ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches, which resulted in many historic meetings and agreements. Montini served in the Holy See's Secretariat of State from 1922 to 1954. While in the Secretariat of State, Montini and Domenico Tardini were considered as the closest and most influential advisors of Pius XII, who in 1954 named him Archbishop of Milan, the largest Italian diocese. Montini later became the Secretary of the Italian Bishops' Conference. John XXIII elevated him to the College of Cardinals in 1958, and after the death of John XXIII, Montini was considered one of his most likely successors.
The papal tiara is a crown that was worn by popes of the Catholic Church from as early as the 8th century to the mid-20th. It was last used by Pope Paul VI in 1963 and only at the beginning of his reign.
Stanisław Dziwisz is a Polish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Kraków from 2005 until 2016. He was created a cardinal in 2006. He was a long-time and influential aide to Pope John Paul II, a friend of Pope Benedict XVI, and an ardent supporter of John Paul's eventual beatification.
The Great Jubilee in 2000 was a major event in the Roman Catholic Church, held from Christmas Eve, 1999 to Epiphany, 2001. Like other previous Jubilee years, it was a celebration of the mercy of God and forgiveness of sins. The major innovation in this Jubilee was the addition of many "particular Jubilees" for various groups of persons, and that it was simultaneously celebrated in Rome, Israel, and elsewhere in the world.
Catholic Mariology refers to Mariology—the systematic study of the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, and of her place in the Economy of Salvation—within Catholic theology. Mary is seen as having a singular dignity above the saints. The Catholic Church teaches that she was conceived without original sin, therefore receiving a higher level of veneration than all other saints. Catholic Mariology thus studies not only her life but also the veneration of her in daily life, prayer, hymns, art, music, and architecture in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave Day of Easter. The feast day is observed by Roman Catholic as well as some Anglicans. It is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church.
Romano Pontifici eligendo was the apostolic constitution governing the election of popes that was promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1 October 1975. It instituted a number of far-reaching reforms in the process of electing popes. It set the maximum number of electors at 120 and restated in a more formal context the rule he had already instituted that cardinals over the age of 80 not participate in electing a pope.
Pope John Paul II entered the papacy in 1978 as an avid sportsman, enjoying hiking and swimming. The 58-year-old was extremely healthy and active for his age, jogging in the Vatican gardens to the horror of Vatican staff, who informed him that his jogging could be seen by tourists climbing to the summit of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. The pope's response, according to media reports, was "so what?" When the cost of installing a swimming pool in his summer residence was queried by cardinals, John Paul joked that it was "cheaper than another conclave".
Saint Alphonsa, F.C.C., was an Indian religious sister and educator. She was the first woman of Indian origin to be canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church, and the first canonised saint of the Syro-Malabar Church, an Eastern Catholic Church based in Kerala. Her feast day is observed on July 28.
Our Lady of Aparecida a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the traditional form associated with the Immaculate Conception associated with a clay statue bearing the same title. The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Catholics, who consider her as the principal patroness of Brazil. Historical accounts state that the statue was originally found by three fishermen who miraculously caught many fish after invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Marian devotions are external pious practices directed to the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, by members of certain Christian traditions. They are performed in Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, but generally rejected in Protestant denominations.
The history of Catholic Mariology traces theological developments and views regarding Mary from the early Church to the 21st century. Mariology is a mainly Catholic ecclesiological study within theology, which centers on the relation of Mary and the Church. Catholic Mariology is the encyclopedic area of theology concerned with Mary, the Mother of God. Theologically, it not only deals with her life, but her veneration in daily life, prayer, art, music, architecture, in modern and ancient Christianity throughout the ages.
The Mariology of the popes is the theological study of the influence that the popes have had on the development, formulation and transformation of the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrines and devotions relating to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary Help of Christians, is a Roman Catholic Marian devotion with a feast day celebrated on May 24.
Le pèlerinage de Lourdes is the only encyclical of Pope Pius XII issued in French. It includes warnings against materialism on the centenary of the apparitions at Lourdes. It was given at Rome, from St. Peter's Basilica, on the feast of the Visitation of the Most Holy Virgin, July 2, 1957, the nineteenth year of his pontificate.
The Roman Catholic Church has often held mortification of the flesh, as a worthy spiritual discipline. The practice is rooted in the Bible: in the asceticism of the Old and New Testament saints, and in its theology, such as the remark by Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, where he states: "If you live a life of nature, you are marked out for death; if you mortify the ways of nature through the power of the Spirit, you will have life.". It is intimately connected with Christ's complete sacrifice of himself on the Cross: "those who belong to Christ have crucified nature, with all its passions, all its impulses". Christ himself enjoined his disciples to mortify themselves when he said: "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me". According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "[t]he way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes: ‘He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.’". The purpose of mortification is to train "the soul to virtuous and holy living". It achieves this through conforming ones passions to reason and faith. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, internal mortification, such as the struggle against pride and self-love, is essential, but external mortification, such as fasting can also be good if they conform with a spirit of internal mortification.
Hagiotherapy is the term used to describe the medieval practice of using religious relics, prayers, pilgrimages etc. to alleviate sickness. It was used to treat epilepsy during the Middle Ages with Saint Valentine particularly associated with the treatment as an 'epilepsy specialist'.
Dolentium Hominum is a latin motu propium from John Paul II, dated 11 February 1985. It gave papal permission to erect the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers.