Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is in Kolkata to celebrate the 27th World Day of the Sick, held annually on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Speaking to Vatican News, the Cardinal says the Pope’s message to the faithful is that there can be no true care without sharing in the situation of those afflicted, by showing compassion and being willing to empathize with the sick.
St. John Paul II instituted this celebration in 1992, to draw attention to the sick and their caregivers and the redemptive nature of human suffering. Since then, it has been celebrated each year in a particular place with a particular theme. This year it is being celebrated in Kolkata, India, with the theme, “You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).