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“Is any one among you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (Jas 5:14)


“Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death. (CCC 1500)

Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes-even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him. (CCC 1501)

The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given to those who are seriously ill by anointing them on the forehead and hands with duly blessed oil - pressed from olives or from other plants - saying, only once: “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” (CCC 1513)

The special graces of the Sacrament of the Sick are:

  • It unites the sick person to the passion of Christ for his own good and the good of the whole Church;
  • It gives spiritual strength, peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of sickness or old age;
  • The forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the Sacrament of Confession;
  • The restoration of health if it is helpful for the salvation of his soul;
  • The preparation for the passing over to heaven.