February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Event To Be Held from February 9-11

          VATICAN CITY, FEB 3 (ZENIT).- Pope John Paul II is a man "marked by lived, experienced suffering" and as such, is the ideal guide for the Jubilee of the Sick, which will begin on February 9. The event will climax on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11, World Day of the Sick.

          The organization of this event, especially its spiritual dimension, is the responsibility of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers, presided by Archbishop Javier Lozano Barragan. Today, Msgr. Josť Redrado, secretary of this Pontifical Council, explained how the program will unfold.

          The celebration will begin with a reflection by groups according to categories: Bishops responsible for pastoral assistance in health care, doctors, nurses and pharmacists. The purpose is to reflect on the identity of each one of the individuals who helps and assists the sick. These sessions will last a day and a half -- from February 9-10. On the afternoon of the 10th, there will be a special Prayer Vigil in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. This Vigil will be attended by thousands of patients and all health agents who have come to Rome, in addition to those caring for the patients themselves. On February 11, at 10 a.m., the Jubilee of the Sick will be celebrated in the presence of John Paul II. Weather permitting, it will be held outdoors, in St. Peter's Square.

          Msgr. explained on Vatican Radio that it will be a very intense moment of faith, "partly because our Pope has experienced suffering very deeply, not only in thought, but also in body and heart. He is a Pope marked by lived, experienced suffering; he will be the best teacher because, beyond speaking with his lips, he will speak from the heart."

          In the afternoon of the 11th, there will be a light and sound festival that will advance in procession from down the monumental via della Conciliazione to St. Peter's Square. The sick and those attending them will sing and carry lit candles. This pilgrimage is a symbol that "the tunnel of pain is illuminated, our suffering in life is clarified, not only with the light of science, but also with the word of God, with faith, and with hope," Msgr. Redrado said.

          On February 12, there will be Stations of the Cross for the sick at the Coliseum, a historic place of suffering. In the afternoon, a festival of joy and hope will be held in the Paul VI Auditorium in the Vatican, in which the patients themselves will be the performers. There will also be great surprises from the world of entertainment -- well-known figures who themselves have suffered sickness and pain.

          This particular Jubilee presents particular organizational problems, given that many of the participants will require wheelchairs or other support. Maurizio Scelli, secretary of the Italian Union of Transport of the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines has called on Italian authorities to resolve the bureaucratic difficulties that at present impede the efficient transportation of the handicapped who will participate in this Jubilee. ZE00020304


      February 4, 2000
      volume 11, no. 25
      NEWS & VIEWS

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