His Holiness Pope Francis says that those who care for the sick and give of themselves with generosity and straightforward love – like St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta – are amongst the Church’s most credible evangelizers. In his message for the World Day of the Sick, celebrated on 11 February, the Pontiff focused on Jesus’s words to the Apostles: “You received without payment; give without payment.”

As reported by Vatican news, , the Pontiff said that “Just as life is a gift from God and cannot be reduced to a personal possession or private property, caring for the sick requires professionalism, tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved”. Urging believers to act responsibly to promote the good, he noted that “Only if we see ourselves, not as a world apart, but in a fraternal relationship with others, can we develop a social practice of solidarity aimed at the common good.” At the same time, the Pontiff said, “no one should be afraid to regard themselves as needy or reliant on others, because individually and by our own efforts we cannot overcome our limitations.”

His Holiness Pope Francis also thanked Catholic healthcare institutions for their service, saying they are called “to give an example of self-giving, generosity and solidarity and he warned them against the trap of “simply running a business”. The Pontiff urged everyone “at every level, to promote the culture of generosity and of gift, which is indispensable for overcoming the culture of profit and waste”.