The celebration of the XXIV World Day of the Sick in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth: “Entrusting oneself to Jesus and His Mercy, like Mary did.”
‘My soul magnifies the Lord’.
Mary, in her Magnificat, sings prophetically about the Mercy with which God has chosen her. She accepted the Good News brought to her by the Archangel Gabriel.
On February 11, on the World Day of the Sick, the solemn liturgical celebration took place in the Basilica of the Annunciation. The mass was presided over by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, special envoy of the Holy Father and President of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, together with the religious authorities of the Holy Land.
In the front row, the protagonists of this day: the sick, local Christians but also pilgrims who came here to celebrate this day, all carrying their own suffering and thus representing patients around the world.
The celebration was expressed in different languages.
In his homily, Mons. Zimowski recalled the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes, a place where 162 years ago the Virgin Mary appeared in Santa Bernadette, giving her beautiful smile to the sick and the suffering. She came down from heaven to remind mankind that her Son has prepared us a place in heaven and that you must never separate heaven from earth. He also thanked St. John Paul II, who instituted this Day on May 13, 1992.
The Year of Mercy is a propitious occasion to intensify the spirit of mercy in all of us.
The meditation of the episode of Mary’s life according to the Gospel account of the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle for his mother’s intervention was a highlight in the celebration. And rightly so: in this Basilica everyone is invited to think about Mary’s ‘yes’ to God’s will.
‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word’.
It is in the anointing of the sick that the World Day of the Sick finds its highest expression; God’s people gather under the cross, believing they are in need of the care and mercy of God.
The canticle of the Magnificat was the response of Mary of Nazareth to the mercy of the Father, “Great things the Almighty has done for me; holy is his name: from generation to generation his mercy is on those who fear him.”