December 8, 2015

Prayer for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

Today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, marks the start of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. When announcing the Jubilee in April, Pope Francis said, "The Holy Year must keep alive the desire to know how to welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world and, above all, to those who suffer, who are alone and abandoned, without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father's love." The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on Nov. 20, 2016.

We are pleased to share the following prayer developed by the Catholic Health Association for the Jublilee:

Lord Jesus Christ, we ask your blessings on all those who are ill or suffering and those who care for them. Bless also those whose chosen vocation is health care. May the Virgin Mary, our Mother, turn her eyes of mercy towards us, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace.

We pray for those who are sick, asking for more than their physical health; we ask for them to have peace, the gift of the Holy Spirit. We pray that every hospital, nursing home and place of care become a visible sign and setting in which to promote the culture of encounter and peace.

"Comfort, O comfort, my people," called the prophet Isaiah. You came to the help of those in difficulty and need. You healed many people of illnesses, infirmities and evil spirits. You gave sight to the blind, made the lame walk, restored health and dignity to outcasts, raised the dead and proclaimed the good news to the poor. Help those who are suffering to draw nearer to you.

Endow with tenderness those who attend the sick and understand their needs. We pray that our human efforts can express the divine. Your hands broke bread for those who were hungry, touched the sick and healed them. We can be hands, arms and hearts which help to perform miracles, so often hidden.

We trust that this Jubilee year may bring dialogue with other noble religious traditions, so that we might know and understand one another better. May it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, drive out every form of violence and discrimination.

We ask this of you Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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