Bishop Michael Router has published a video to mark the annual World Day of the Sick, and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, which falls on this Sunday, 11 February.
In the video, Bishop Router, who Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh and chair of the Bishops’ Council for Healthcare, welcomed Pope Francis’ message for this year on the theme: ‘It is not good that man should be alone – Healing the Sick by Healing Relationships’. Bishop Router said, “In his 2024 message for the World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis revisits the recent memory of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the anguish of isolation that was felt especially by patients who were unable to receive visitors, families and healthcare workers, the latter who had to work in very difficult and often isolated conditions. In his message, the Pope also draws attention to where war and poverty exist in today’s world, places where people suffer alone without dignity and the basic supports that a properly functioning society should offer.
“The Holy Father further reflects on the innate human need for communion and relationships, echoing the verse from Genesis, Chapter 2, that ‘it is not good that man should be alone’. As we are all created in the image and likeness of God, reflecting the relationship at the heart of the Trinity, human lives are designed to be fulfilled in connection with others, whether through friendships, loving relationships, or supportive networks.”
Bishop Router concluded,”Everyone has the right to access good quality healthcare that puts their lives first and not economics or mere convenience. So, as chair of the Bishops’ Council for Healthcare, I welcome Pope Francis’ message for this World Day of the Sick, and I pray that we may listen to his encouragement to be at the forefront in promoting a more compassionate society – a society that respects, first and foremost, the dignity of all.”