15th World Day of the Sick

11 Feb 2007



15th World Day of the Sick to be celebrated this Sunday

A plenary indulgence to be granted to the faithful who assist the sick on WDS

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father) and with a spirit that is detached from any sin, on 11th February next, take part devoutly, in the city of Seoul or any other place established by the ecclesiastical Authority, in some sacred ceremony celebrated to implore from God the achievement of the aims of the “15th World Day of the Sick”.

The faithful who in public hospitals or in any private home charitably assist as “good Samaritans” to the sick, especially those who are incurable or terminally ill and, who for reasons of their service are unable to participate at the ceremony as indicated above, will obtain the same “gift of the plenary indulgence” if on that day they will, at least  for an hour, give generously their charitable assistance to the sick as if giving to the Christ, the Lord (Matthew 25, 40), having the spirit detached from every sin and the intention to fulfil as soon as possible the conditions as required to obtain the Plenary Indulgence.

The faithful who, because of illness, advanced age or a similar reason, are prevented from taking part in any of the ceremonies indicated above, may obtain the Plenary Indulgence when, spiritually detached from sin and resolved to fulfil the usual conditions as soon as possible, they have on that day, united with the Holy Father,   the desire to participate spiritually in the celebration as indicated and offering to God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, “the Health of the Sick”, their physical and spiritual sufferings.

Finally, a partial indulgence is bestowed to all faithful, from 9th – 11th February, every time, with a contrite heart, address to God, the merciful, devout prayers to implore the aims as previously indicated to help the sick, in particular the incurable and terminally ill.



Notes for Editors

    * This present Decree has effect only in this occasion.  Notwithstanding anything to the contrary.  Given in Rome, at the offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 25th January 2007, Conversion of St Paul the Apostle by Cardinal James Francis Stafford, Major Penitentiary, and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., Bishop Titular of Meta, Regent.

    * The Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for the 15th World Day of the Sick 2007 is available on www.vatican.va   This is Pope Benedict’s second message for WDS and last year it was celebrated in Adelaide, Australia and this year it is in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.  WDS was established in 1993 by Pope John Paul II.  Each year WDS is celebrated on 11 February internationally in a different Marian shrine.

    * World Day of the Sick is a day of intense prayer for all who are suffering pain,
      infirmity and sickness.  In this way we express our solidarity with those who suffer, a solidarity arising from our awareness of the mystery of suffering and its place in God’s loving plan for every individual.  Those who dedicate themselves to the world of health care enter into the most intimate part of the individual into his/her existence, as a spiritual being.  As we care for the sick and needy we bring the good news of the Gospel alive by offering ourselves as authentic signs of love, “the Kingdom of God is close at hand” Mark 1: 15

    * The Catholic Healthcare Commission was established in 2000, representing the Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland.  The Commission was formed to promote common interests in matters of healthcare and its services.  See www.catholichealthcare.ie

    * According to the section entitled ‘Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church’ as contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, thefollowing paragraphs state:


1478: An indulgence is obtained through the Church, who by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favour of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins.  Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance and charity.

1479: Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.