Card. Parolin in Lourdes, The Day of the Sick © Sanctuaire ND De Lourd

World Day of the Sick: Solemn Celebration in Lourdes With Cardinal Parolin

The Message of Lourdes: “Closeness to Suffering Man”

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On the World Day of the Sick, February 11, 2017, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin represented Pope Francis in the Marian city.
In a video tour of the Shrine, the “Number 2” of the Vatican arrived on the eve of the celebration, rejoiced “to be here before the Virgin and to bring with me  … all the intention of the Holy Father … the intentions of those that suffer and of those that are sick,” he said.
In the course of a conversation organized for the occasion, speaking in French, the Cardinal explained his role as “Papal Legate”: “it is the highest way of representing the Holy Father … in juridical language, it’s as if he were the person of the Pope … who comes to visit a place.” By this appointment, “the Pope wished to give this visit, to his representative, all his authority … his whole presence.”
Cardinal Parolin assured that Pope Francis “has a special concern for the sick. One sees it in the audiences: he approaches all the people who are sick, he gives his greeting, he speaks with them, he embraces them …”
“What strikes one at Lourdes is the faith of the people; It’s what has always struck me here,” he confided. In addition to healing, the sick person “asks for the capacity to accept the situation of frailty he is living and to offer it,” he said. For the Secretary of State, it is “the summit of the Christian experience … to be like Jesus on the Cross.”
The message of Lourdes is “the message of closeness to suffering man,” he added. “The Virgin makes herself close here and she invites us here to be close to all persons who are sick … (including) psychic sicknesses,” but also “closeness to sinners” because “the gravest sickness is sin.”
The Pontiff’s representative took part in a torch procession on the evening of February 10. This was his second trip to Lourdes after his visit in 1996 – then a simple priest – with a group of students.  

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Anne Kurian-Montabone

Laurea in Teologia (2008) alla Facoltà di teologia presso l'Ecole cathedrale di Parigi. Ha lavorato 8 anni per il giornale settimanale francese France Catholique" e participato per 6 mese al giornale "Vocation" del servizio vocazionale delle chiesa di Parigi. Co-autore di un libro sulla preghiera al Sacro Cuore. Dall'ottobre 2011 è Collaboratrice della redazione francese di Zenit."

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