Nazareth: ready for the twenty-fourth World Day of the Sick

Giacomo Pizzi9 February 2016

On the 6th of February a Papal Delegation has arrived in the Holy Land for the twenty-fourth World Day of the Sick which will take place in Nazareth on Thursday, 11 February. The Delegation is led by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski President of the Pontificial Council for Health Care Workers.

The theme chosen – Entrusting Oneself to the Merciful Jesus like Mary: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5) is quite fitting in light of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. For this reason the main celebration will be held in Nazareth “where ‘the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us’” Pope Francis explained. Here “Jesus began his salvific mission”.

The title invites all the sick people to open their hearts to God’s grace with trust, even when there is no more joy in life – represented by the wine of the feast in the event of the miracle of Cana, in the Gospel. Like the sick men and women, Mary has some difficulties; but soon after Jesus cannot reject her request. In these moments of suffering, says the Pope, “in Mary’s concern we see reflected the tenderness of God”. We then have to ask for her intercession, she becomes missionary of our requests.

Everything has been set up at the Basilica of the Annunciation. The main event will take place here. Many sick and elderly people will participate. They are both local and pilgrims who will arrive carried by specialist organizations.

Meanwhile, the works at the Basilica will end this week. An elevator, connecting the two floors of the Basilica has been installed, together with runways that allow disabled to reach the Grotto of the Annunciation.