Filipino sick need not go to church on World Day of the Sick

Catholic Church leaders in the Philippines said sick people need no attend Mass in church on Feb. 11, for the observance of the World Day of the Sick.

“Those who cannot make it to the churches can follow via livestream and they can also have blessings,” said Bishop Oscar Florencio, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Health.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of Manila, said the elderly and the sick need not go out, especially because the number of COVID-19 cases continue to be high.

“They can just join us through online facilities,” said the prelate.

Bishop Pabillo will celebrate Mass at the National Shrine of St. Michael and the Archangels in Manila at 9 a.m. that will be seen on the TV Maria channel.

The Diocese of Cubao will also offer Masses and special prayers for the sick, said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao.

He said the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is also observing protocols for health and safety.

The World Day of the Sick is an observance on Feb. 11, feast of the Our Lady of Lourdes, whose shrine has become a sanctuary of human suffering.

In Quezon City in the Philippine capital, instead of the traditional grand procession, the image of the Our Lady of Lourdes will be brought around the city in a motorcade.

In 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl while she was collecting firewood near the grotto of Massabielle, near Lourdes, France.

The young girl said the Virgin Mary was dressed in white with a white veil, blue belt, and with yellow rose on each foot.

Pope St. John Paul II initiated the World Day of the Sick in 1992 to encourage the faithful to pray for those who suffer from illness and for their caregivers.

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