Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vatican Statement for World Leprosy Day- Jan 25th.

A statement by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragán, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, on the occasion of the 56th World Leprosy Day, which will be observed this Sunday:

This 56th World Day is thus a suitable opportunity to offer the human community correct, broad and capillary information about leprosy, about the devastating effects that it can have on people's bodies if they are not treated and on families and on society, and to stimulate the individual and collective duty to engage in active fraternal solidarity.Basing itself on the example of Jesus Christ, the physician of bodies and souls, the Church has always dedicated special care to people afflicted by leprosy. Down the centuries it has been present through the institutions of Congregations of men and women religious, and through voluntary health care organisations made up of the lay faithful, thereby contributing in a radical way to the full social and communal integration of such people.The Blessed Father Damian de Veuster, the untiring and exemplary apostle of our brothers and sisters afflicted by Hansen's disease, a lighthouse of faith and love, is the symbol of all those consecrated to Christ with religious vows who still today dedicate their lives to such people, making available all their resources for the overall wellbeing of those afflicted who are by leprosy in every part of the world.These, together with Blessed Damian, are writing the most beautiful pages of the missionary history of the Church. Inseparably linked to evangelisation in their care for the sick, they proclaim that the redemption of Jesus Christ, and his salvific grace, reach the whole of man in his human condition in order to associate him to the glorious resurrection of Christ.At their side very many volunteers and men of good will are involved in the organisation of solidarity at a practical level, making means and financial resources available to research institutes so that they can create increasingly effective forms of treatment by which to combat Hansen's disease.
Link to full Vatican Statement
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