'Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the Church,and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven' (James 5:14-15)

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

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.

The special grace of this sacrament has these effects:

  • The uniting of the sick person to the Passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church;
  • The strengthening, peace and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness and old age;
  • The forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Penance;
  • The restoration to health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul;
  • The preparation for passing over to eternal life.

For this sacrament ask for the priest, or if in hospital, the Catholic chaplain.