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The Pope Video for February (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has released his prayer intention for February, inviting people to pray for the terminally ill and their families. Source: Vatican News.

In this month’s The Pope Video, which was released yesterday by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Pope invited the Church to pray for this intention.

This month’s video comes during the month in which the Church observes the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick, both on February 11.

In the video, Pope Francis explains that “when some people talk about terminal illnesses, there are two words they often confuse: incurable and un-’carable’. But they are not the same.”

He cites his predecessor St John Paul II, in saying, “Cure if it is possible; always take care”.

The images from The Pope Video for February exemplify situations showing love and tenderness for the terminally ill, and depending on how they are interpreted, depict a series of failures or successes, the failures being “if the only acceptable outcome is a cure,” and successes instead being “if the objective is the care of the patient.”

Pope Francis explains clearly that even when little chance for a cure exists, “every sick person has the right to medical, psychological, spiritual and human assistance”.

“Healing,” he acknowledges, “is not always possible, but we can always care for the sick person, caress them.”

Reflecting on the importance of palliative care, Pope Francis reaffirms that such care “guarantees the patient not only medical attention,” but also “human assistance and closeness”.

Meanwhile, when speaking about the role of the family, he underscores that those suffering “should not be left alone in these difficult moments”.

The role of the family “is decisive,”  the Pope said, stressing relatives “need access to adequate means so as to provide appropriate physical, spiritual and social support”.


Pope’s February prayer intention: For the terminally ill (By Deborah Castellano Lubov, Vatican News)