Events for 25th Anniversary of Health Care Council


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VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2010 (VIS) - "The Church at the loving service of those who suffer" will be the theme of the celebrations organised to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers, and the eighteenth World Day of the Sick. The events will take place from 9 to 11 February.

An international symposium, due to be held on 9 and 10 February in the Vatican's New Synod Hall, will examine two documents by John Paul II: the Apostolic Letter "Salvifici Doloris" on the Christian meaning of human suffering (11 February1984), and the Motu Proprio "Dolentium Hominum" with which that Pontiff established the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers (11 February 1985).

According to a communique, the symposium will also study the question of suffering from the point of view of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, and consider how it is seen and experienced in African and Asian cultures.

At 10.30 a.m. on 11 February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica. The programme of events for that day, prepared by the pontifical council, also includes the arrival of the reliquary of St. Bernadette Soubirous, prayer before the statue of the Virgin of Lourdes and a visit to the tomb of John Paul II.

The events organised for that period also include a concert at the Rome's Santa Cecilia Academy, and an exhibition of paintings dedicated to John Paul II and to suffering.