Manila: Catholics pray on World Day of the Sick
Card Rosales, archbishop emeritus of the capital, leads the Mass in front of hundreds of patients who came to the Espiritu Santo Parish Church with the help of the Order of Malta and Radio Veritas. His successor, Cardinal Tagle, takes part in the Catholic Congress for the blind.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) - Card Gaudencio Rosales celebrated today the 22nd World Day of the Sick with a solemn Mass at the Espiritu Santo Parish Church.

The Archbishop Emeritus of Manila led the function in front of hundreds of sick people, who, after Mass  took part in a healing prayer conducted by Fr Ferdinand Hernando, known in the capital for his efforts on behalf of disabled people and sufferers.

The Order of Malta and Radio Veritas prepared the service, giving patients the opportunity to attend the Mass safely. In addition, several volunteers were available during the Mass in case of medical emergencies.

As part of this event, the Catholic Congress for the blind was held in Manila last Saturday.

Card Luis Antonio Tagle attended the meeting (pictured), which was held at Paco Catholic School.

Here he had an opportunity to discuss the situation of the blind and to talk about pastoral and social programmes that can improve their living conditions.

World Day of the Sick is celebrated every year on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Established by John Paul II in 1992, it is a special time of prayer and sharing for those who suffer.

This year's theme was Faith and Charity: We too must give our lives for the brethren.

In his message for this occasion, copies of which were handed out to worshippers during Mass today in Manila, Francis Pope writes, "The Church recognizes in you, the sick, a special presence of the suffering Christ. At the side - and indeed within - our suffering is the suffering of Christ; he bears its burden with us and he reveals its meaning. When the Son of God mounted the cross, he destroyed the solitude of suffering and illuminated its darkness."