Bishop Brown AnointS Sick and bless caregivers during
World Day of the Sick at holy family cathedral
ORANGE, CA - (February 11, 2012) - The Most Rev. Tod D. Brown, Bishop of Orange anointed ill patients with holy oil and bless the hands of caregivers with holy water brought from the consecrated grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France on Saturday, at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange.
The source of the holy water, the consecrated grotto in Lourdes, is the site of 18 appearances of Mary, the mother Jesus, to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 and is well-known for the divine healing power of its waters, known as “Lourdes Water.” The Orange Chapter of the Order of Malta, the ancient Catholic religious order founded in 1050 AD, hosted the annual event.
“Caring for the sick and infirm is the ministry we are all called to as Christians. As a society many of the dedicated people who care for the most vulnerable are not given the appreciation their service merits. I value the important commitment of caregivers to their ministry and look forward to blessing them with the healing water of Lourdes. I also anointed several critically ill patients and pray for their spiritual and physical strength,” said Bishop Brown.
Since 1992, the Catholic Church has celebrated World Day of the Sick on Feb. 11 — the day on which the church commemorates the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. World Day of the Sick has three consistent themes. First, it reminds the faithful to pray intensely and sincerely for those who are sick. Second, the celebration invites Christians to reflect on and respond to human suffering. And third, this day recognizes and honors all persons who work in health care and serve as caregivers.
The anointing of the sick is administered by an ordained priest by the anointing of the body with holy oil. This rite is one of the seven sacred sacraments. A sacrament is received by an individual or group by means of a ritual performed in the Roman Catholic Church to confer grace through the Holy Spirit.
About the Order of Malta:
The Order of Malta is a lay religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. It has a 900-year tradition of serving the poor and sick. Today, the Order operates hospitals, free medical clinics, ambulance services, nursing homes, and other medical projects in various parts of the world. The Order's official worldwide relief agency, Malteser International, based in Germany, currently delivers humanitarian aid through approximately 100 projects in 20 countries. The Order's Western Association, whose administrative office is in San Francisco, provides financial and volunteer support to over 50 projects serving the needy in Arizona, California, and Washington.