Address Recalls Those Who Help the Sick

John Paul II Leads Angelus at Castel Gandolfo

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 14, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave before reciting the midday Angelus with pilgrims today. The Holy Father spoke from a balcony overlooking the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.



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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. For many, the time of vacation begins with the month of July. My heartfelt best wishes, to all who are in holiday places, for a serene and profitable restoration of body and spirit. At the same time, I cannot but remember with affection all those who do not have the possibility to go on vacation. I am thinking, especially, of those who are in prisons and hospitals, or who are alone in their homes. I would like to assure them of my spiritual closeness, while hoping that they will not lack the necessary help of friendly people. Moreover, I express great appreciation for those who, with a genuine human and Christian spirit, are voluntarily dedicated to the support of the needy, the sick and of all those in difficulty.

2. In this connection, I am happy to remind you that precisely today is the liturgical memorial of the patron of the sick and of those who take care of them: St. Camillus of Lellis. When he was a young soldier, Providence made use of a wound in his foot, which gave him the experience of being in St. James' Hospital in Rome. Years later, that wound led him to return to the same hospital, where he began to care for the sick, especially the most seriously ill and repugnant, in whom he saw and served Jesus.

After understanding the will of God, he consecrated himself totally to him in this important service, and founded a new order, that of Ministers of the Sick, who would be called the "Camillians." On his breast, embroidered on his habit, he had a large red cross, to remind himself and others that Christ is the Divine Physician, the true Savior of humanity.

3. [John Paul II then greeted the faithful in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Speaking in English, he said:]

Upon the English-speaking visitors I invoke an abundance of divine blessings, and wish you all a very pleasant and spiritually fruitful holiday.

[Then, speaking in Italian, the Pope concluded]

4. Let us entrust our intentions to Mary. We ask her to watch over the now imminent World Youth Day, so that it will be a rich experience of faith and Christian commitment for the young people who will be in Toronto.

I wish everyone a joyful Sunday.

[Translation by ZENIT]