Matters India reporter
Kolkata, Jan. 23, 2019: Pope Francis on December 11 appointed Bangladeshi Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario as his envoy to the special celebration of the 27th World Day of the Sick to be celebrated in Kolkata, 9-11 February, 2019.
The last time the celebration held in India was at Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu South India in 2002.
“The purpose of World Day of the Sick is to sensitise persons, especially Church-run healthcare institutions and civil society to the need to assure the best care for the sick; and to help those who are sick take comfort,” says a communique from Archbishop’s House Calcutta released 23 January.
Church leaders and healthcare professionals from other parts of Asia and India will also attend as delegates to the events spread over 3 days from 9 to 11 February, 2019 in Kolkata and in the historical Marian Shrine at Bandel.
The tradition of the World Day of the Sick was instituted by St. John Paul II on 13 May 1992, designating its celebration to the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11 each year.
The first World Day of the Sick was marked in 1993 at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France, one of the world’s most famous Marian shrines.
Since then, the day has been observed each year all over the world with a special celebration in a particular place. The Holy Father issues a message each year on a particular issue.
Cardinal D’Rozario became the first cardinal of Bangladesh when Pope Francis elevated him to the cardinal’s rank at the consistory of November 19, 2016. The 75-year old Archbishop of Dhaka also became the first cardinal from among the Bengali-speaking people on either side of divided Bengal, inhabiting Bangladesh and India’s West Bengal state.
He is also the first cardinal from Bangladesh.
Kolkata is also associated with St. Teresa of Calcutta, the Albanian nun who came to Kolkata in 1929 as a missionary with the Sisters of Loreto from Ireland. Later in 1950, she founded her own Missionaries of Charity order for the poor and the abandoned earning national and international honours for her works of mercy, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She died on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87 and was declared a saint by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016, the eve of her 29th death anniversary. END