World Day of the Sick

Each year on February 11, the Catholic Church marks the World Day of the Sick. This is a time to offer prayers for those who suffer from illness and for their caregivers. This year’s occurrence marks 30 years since Pope St. John Paul II instituted the World Day to encourage all members of the Church to “be increasingly attentive to the sick and to those who care for them.” The theme of this year’s 30th World Day of the Sick, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36), makes us first turn our gaze towards God, who is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4).

Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in BC, Archbishop Miller will celebrate a live streamed Mass for World Day of the Sick on Friday, February 11 at noon. For the live stream link, click on the video below.

To learn more about World Day of the Sick, check out:

Dear healthcare workers, your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission. Your hands, which touch the suffering flesh of Christ, can be a sign of the merciful hands of the Father. Be mindful of the great dignity of your profession, as well as the responsibility that it entails.
– Pope Francis




Instituted by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992, the World Day of the Sick is celebrated annually on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in honour of the Marian apparitions that were said to have been seen in and around Lourdes, France by St. Bernadette. These apparitions began on Feb. 11, 1858 and since then, many pilgrims and visitors have experienced healing at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1991, Pope John Paul II was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and it is considered that his own illness was the catalyst for creating World Day of the Sick.


World Day of the Sick “is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities. We think in particular of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. To all, and especially to the poor and the marginalized, I express my spiritual closeness and assure them of the Church’s loving concern.”  – Pope Francis