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Friday, January 27, 2012


VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, has written a message for the fifty-ninth World Leprosy Day, which falls on Sunday 29 January. The message is entitled: "In the Fight Against Hansen's Disease the Commitment of All Men of Good Will in Required".

  Extracts from the English-language version of the message are given below:

  "Mycobacterium Leprae has not as yet been eradicated, even though the official number of new cases of the infection continues to decrease and at the present time are about 200,000, according to the estimates of the World Health Organisation for the years 2010-2011. In addition to supporting the free distribution of those drugs and medicines that are required, one should, therefore, further promote speedy diagnosis and perseverance in receiving therapies. It is of fundamental importance, furthermore, that the work directed towards sensitising and training communities and families that run the risk of contagion be strengthened.

  "The Gospel phrase 'Stand and go; your faith has saved you', chosen by the Holy Father Benedict XVI as the theme for the twentieth World Day of the Sick which will be held on 11 February of this year throughout the world, constitutes an exploration and a call that touches in a particular way those who have been afflicted by this infection; in this passage from St. Luke, indeed, we are told about ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, readmitted to the community and reintegrated into the social and occupational fabric.

  "As is emphasised by the Holy Father in his Message for this year, 'help us to become aware of the importance of faith for those who, burdened by suffering and illness, draw near to the Lord. In their encounter with him they can truly experience that he who believes is never alone! God, indeed, in his Son, does not abandon us to our anguish and sufferings, but is close to us, helps us to bear them, and wishes to heal us in the depths of our hearts".

  "This love, which is also expressed through individual action and through Church institutions and volunteer organisations, amongst which the Raoul Follereau Foundation and the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta, as well as the successes that have been obtained hitherto in terms of a strong reduction in the number of people infected by this disease, certainly do not exempt governments and international organisations from increasing the attention they pay to, and their work to combat, the spread of leprosy, or from their responsibilities as regards prevention, in educational and hygiene/health-care terms, and the 'readmission' of people who have been cured, as well as support for all the victims of infection".

  "Those who have attained a cure can ... communicate all their interior riches and experience and at the same time, in helping their neighbour, all their dignity and profundity as people touched by suffering and involved in working for the health of the community to which they belong.

  "This will amount to a further and relevant contribution to progress in the fight against Hansen's disease which for millennia has constituted a terrible scourge and involved automatic exclusion from society. Indeed, only the involvement of everyone - and at all levels - will allow the transformation of leprosy from being a threat and a scourge into being a memory, however frightening, of the past".
CON-AVA/                                VIS 20120127 (570)

1 comment:

  1. A lot of people care about their physical appearances more than anything. So anything that is bound to disfigure their looks is treated as an absolute disaster. But it's a bad symptom that a lot of us just can't get over, judging people according to physical appearance. This has been a source of a lot of the strife in the world. And unfortunately some people get judged based on such things that are completely beyond their control such as the ravages of illness. And really, there are some illnesses that can disfigure you not just internally but externally as well.

    Exhilarin Chasteberry Plus


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