Pope at Angelus: healthcare for all is essential service

From the balcony of his tenth-floor hospital window, Pope Francis greets crowds gathered below for the Sunday Angelus, broadcast live around the world. He thanks them for their closeness and offers his prayers for those suffering and needing care.

Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis gave his familiar “Buongiorno!” greetings from the hospital on Sunday, just one week after undergoing intestinal surgery from which he is still recuperating at Rome's Gemelli Hospital. From the balcony of a 10th floor window overlooking the crowds below, he appeared with children who are being cared for there and recalled the need for our prayers and support for them.

The Pope expressed his joy at being able to keep the weekly Sunday Angelus appointment today and noted his profound gratitude to all, saying “I have deeply felt your closeness and the support of your prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

In his brief address before leading the recitation of the Angelus prayer, he reflected on today’s Gospel reading where we read that Jesus’ disciples went out and anointed with oil many who were sick and then healed them. The oil he noted is in the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick which “gives comfort to spirit and body”, but it is also a balm for “listening, the closeness, the care, the tenderness of those who take care of the sick person”, easing the pain and helping them feel better.

He noted that we all will need this “anointing” some time in our lives, and “we can all give it to someone else” through simple gestures such as a visit, a call, a helping hand.

Economic pressure must not compromise essential healthcare service

Pope Francis shared that during these days in the hospital he has experienced personally the importance of good health care, accessible to all, as it is Italy and other countries. He stressed that “This precious benefit must not be lost. It needs to be kept!”. This requires the commitment of all, he noted, “because it helps everyone and requires everyone’s contribution”. The Pope noted that economic pressures should not compromise the ability to provide essential healthcare service. 

May no one be left alone

In conclusion, the Pope expressed his profound “appreciation” and “encouragement” to the doctors, healthcare workers, and staff. He asked us all to pray for the sick, especially those in the most difficult situations, underlining, “may no one be left alone, may everyone receive the anointing of listening, closeness and care”. He said may we pray for this, “through the intercession of Mary, our Mother, Health of the Sick”.

Moments from Angelus led by Pope Francis at Gemelli Hospital

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11 July 2021, 12:15

The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.

Latest Angelus / Regina Coeli

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