Opening remark by his Eminence J. Bapt. Cardinal Pham Minh Man (10 Feb 2012)

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

 

Distinguish guests,

 

Our brothers and sisters in other religious denomination

 

Every year, our Catholic Church in all over the world celebrates the World day of the Sick on February 11.  On this occasion we gather here today to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in our country who are sick.

 

Moreover, tonight, we come here to express our communion with one another hoping to share and to listern to our suffering brothers and sisters. We pray to our loving and merciful Father to heal both the physical wounds and spiritual wounds of our sick brothers and sisters.

 

Through the Bibile, we could see the image of Jesus Christ during his life on earth, He was walking from place to place to cure and heal those who are sick. He touched them, healed them and return them back to the community and society. He commanded His diciples to ‘go, preaching the Gospel and healing the sick.’

 

Being the disciples of God today, we need to be aware that, to heal and to care for the sick is part of  living the Gospel of life of God, and Gospel of love of God.

 

Looking at our world today, we can still see many people around us have to suffer a lot because of physical and mental illness.

 

Million of people in our country are living with disabilities who need to be fully reintegrate themselves into society to live a normal life. Manytimes, they are forgotten and left marginalized because of their impairments. In Ho Chi Minh city there are still thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS, thousands of children who were born with HIV. They are still facing a lot of stigma and discrimination. They couldn’t find jobs, children couldn’t go to school. They don’t have enough medicines. There are still numerous of other serious and incurable illnesses that have taken away many lives of people around us.

 

Tonight, I also invite our sick brothers and sisters to offer your suffering to God to pray for the Church, for yourselves and for your family, knowing that your suffering is also shared with the same suffering of Christ on the cross

 

I am very grateful for the participation of the representative of the government, religious leaders of other religions in, and representatives from different consulates in the city in this evening. Your presence is a proof to the world that we are all compelled by our religious belief to build a culture of life, a society of love for our world.

 

I hope and pray for the well being for all of us here, both physical and spiritual. So that together we can move forward to the Source of life, in love and peace. Now I would like to announce the opening of tonight’s prayer meeting.

 

John B. Phạm Minh Mẫn

Cardinal  - Archbishop