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World Day of the Sick is held on the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes (Supplied)

Catholic health and aged care services invite the community to celebrate World Day of the Sick – now in its 31st year – and acknowledge the important work that these ministries continue to do under challenging circumstances. Source: CHA and ACBC.

In his message to mark the World Day of the Sick in 2023, Pope Francis cites the parable of the Good Samaritan as an enduring example of not abandoning those in need of our care and compassion. 

The Holy Father writes: “The World Day of the Sick calls for prayer and closeness towards those who suffer. Yet it also aims to raise the awareness of God’s people, healthcare institutions and civil society with regard to a new way of moving forward together.

“Indeed, the conclusion of the parable of the Good Samaritan suggests how the exercise of fraternity, which began as a face-to-face encounter, can be expanded into organised care. 

“The elements of the inn, the innkeeper, the money and the promise to remain informed of the situation (cf. Lk 10:34-35) all point to the commitment of healthcare and social workers, family members and volunteers, through whom good stands up in the face of evil every day, in every part of the world.”

The Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick is held on February 11, the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, and 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.

Catholic Health Australia CEO Pat Garcia said Pope Francis’ message also invites people to advocate for better and fairer health systems around the world to ensure no one is left behind. 

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said the World Day of the Sick is a fitting time to acknowledge the massive contribution the Church makes to health care in Australia.


Catholic Church celebrates its health care ministry (CHA and ACBC)