In his message for the 27th World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis urges believers to promote a culture of generosity, noting that the joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis says that those who care for the sick and give of themselves with generosity and straightforward love – like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta – are amongst the Church’s most credible evangelizers.

In his message for the World Day of the Sick, celebrated on 11 February, the Pope focused on Jesus’s words to the Apostles: “You received without payment; give without payment” (Mt 10:8).

Just as life is a gift from God, he said, and cannot be reduced to a personal possession or private property, he said that, “caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved”.

“Amid today’s culture of waste and indifference”, he said, “gift” is the category best suited to challenging today’s individualism and social fragmentation, while at the same time promoting new relationships and means of cooperation between peoples and cultures.

“Gift,” he explained, is much more than simply giving presents: it involves the giving of oneself and entails the desire to build a relationship.

“Gift is a reflection of God’s love, which culminates in the Incarnation of the Son and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit”, he said.

The Pope also mentioned dialogue – the premise of gift – that, he said, creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.

Everyone needs care
Pointing out that each of us “is poor, needy and destitute” needing the care of our parents to survive when we are born and remaining in some way dependent on the help of others at every stage of life, Pope Francis said a frank acknowledgement of our limitations “keeps us humble and spurs us to practice solidarity as an essential virtue in life”.

Urging believers to act responsibly to promote the good, he noted that, “Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart, but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.” At the same time, he said, no one should be afraid to regard themselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts we cannot overcome our limitations.

Do not fear acknowledging those limitations, he explained: “for God himself, in Jesus, has humbly stooped down to us and continues to do so; in our poverty, he comes to our aid and grants us gifts beyond our imagining”.

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Established in 1993 by Pope Saint John Paul II on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, a different city is chosen each year to host the World Day of the Sick. This year the choice has fallen on Calcutta in India and Pope Francis highlighted the figure of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta as a model of charity who made God’s love for the poor and sick visible.

“In all aspects of her life”, he said, “she was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, of those unborn and those abandoned and discarded… She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity”.

The Pope upheld her further saying that “she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime – the crimes! – of poverty they created”.

Describing her mission to the urban and existential peripheries as an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor, the Pope said, “Saint Mother Teresa helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity or religion”.

Pope Francis’s message also praised the generosity of so many volunteers who, he said, are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan.

He thanked the many associations run by volunteers that are committed to particular fields of health care including those who promote the rights of the sick, raise awareness and encourage prevention.

Noting that countless persons who are ill, alone, elderly or frail in mind or body benefit from these services, he urged them to continue to be a sign of the Church’s presence in a secularized world: “Volunteer work passes on values, behaviours and ways of living born of a deep desire to be generous. It is also a means of making health care more humane.”

Catholic healthcare institutions
The Pope also thanked Catholic healthcare institutions for their service, saying they are called “to give an example of self-giving, generosity and solidarity and he warned them against the trap of “simply running a business”.

Health, he said, “is relational, dependent on interaction with others, and requiring trust, friendship and solidarity. It is a treasure that can be enjoyed fully only when it is shared. The joy of generous giving is a barometer of the health of a Christian”.

Finally Pope Francis urged everyone “at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and of gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste”.



Today is Labor Day in the U.S. and lot of us at EWTN have been doing just that – laboring. I did post a lot on Facebook about assisting in the morning TV commentary for the Mass of Thanksgiving, then a cast and crew lunch at La Vittoria, then an interview in my home this afternoon and now I finally have a few minutes for composing and posting this column.


September 5 – The one who builds on God builds on rock, because he is always faithful, even if we sometimes lack faith.

September 4 – Let us carry Mother Teresa’s smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey.

September 3 – Let us imitate Mother Teresa who made works of mercy the guide of her life and the path towards holiness.

September 2 – Charity means to draw close to the periphery of existence of the men and women we encounter every day.


(Vatican Radio)  Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, celebrated the Mass of Thanksgiving on Monday for the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

In his homily for the Mass in St. Peter’s Square, Cardinal Parolin recalled several key moments of her life and the thirst for God that drove her every action.

Caritas Christi urget nos: the love of Christ compels us’ was the recurring theme of Cardinal Pietro Parolin’s homily for the Thanksgiving Mass.


These words, he said, summed up the flame of love which compelled the now-St. Teresa of Calcutta during her life and which compel us to follow her example.

Cardinal Parolin revisited several of the key events of Mother Teresa’s life, including her self-definition as ‘a little pencil in God’s hands’.

‘Mother Teresa,’ he said, ‘was a clear mirror of the love of God and an admirable example of service to our neighbor, especially to the poorest, most derelict, and most abandoned of people.’

He also recalled her constant fight for the rights of the unborn, which he said grew out of her recognition that the worst form of poverty is ‘to feel unloved, unwanted, scorned’.

He said, ‘This recognition brought her to identify unborn children whose very existence is threatened as the “poorest of the poor”. Each of them depends, more than any other human being, on the love and care of the mother and on the protection of society.’

Cardinal Parolin went on the recall Mother Teresa’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1979, in which she said, ‘It is very important to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us, it hurt him.’

He said these words ‘are like a doorway through which we enter into the abyss, which surrounded the life of the Saint.’

Cardinal Parolin concluded his homily remembering the two simple words she had posted in every house of the Missionaries of Charity: ‘I thirst’.

‘I thirst,’ he said, ‘a thirst for fresh, clean water, a thirst for souls to console and to redeem from their ugliness to make them beautiful and pleasing in the eyes of God, a thirst for God, for His vital and luminous presence. I thirst; this is the thirst which burned in Mother Teresa: her cross and exaltation, her torment and her glory.’

‘St. Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us!’


The Mass of Thanksgiving for the canonization of Mother Teresa this morning in St. Peter’s Square was presided over by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. The relics of Saint Mother Teresa were present on the altar for that Mass, as they were Sunday for the canonization.


Later today, Monday, the relics of Mother Teresa were moved to the St John Lateran Basilica, the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, where they will be exposed for the veneration of the faithful.

The veneration will continue on Wednesday and Thursday in the church of Saint Gregory on the Celian Hill (San Gregorio al Celio). On those days, the faithful will also have the opportunity to visit the rooms of Mother Teresa in the convent of the Missionaries of Charity next to the church. The Missionaries operate a homeless shelter near San Gregorio, in addition to numerous other charitable enterprises in Rome.

Today, September 5th, is the 19th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death and also her feast day.