Photographs by Victor Alemán for Angelus News

The elderly and sick from throughout southern California gathered to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick from Archbishop José H. Gomez on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron, from the Santa Barbara pastoral region, served at homilist.

The Anointing of the Sick is administered by the bishop and priests to offer prayers and strength to the souls of the sick through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Anointing of the Sick and Mass are co-hosted by the Cathedral and the Western Association of the Order of Malta in observance of the 2018 World Day of the Sick and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

“During World Day of the Sick, we ask our Blessed Mother's intercession for all those who are suffering in body, mind, spirit or soul — those who are sick and those who are disabled; those facing any diseases or terminal illnesses,” Archbishop Gomez said.  “We pray also for all those who assume the beautiful responsibility of taking care of their own loved ones. The husband who is caring for his ailing wife. The sons and daughters caring for aging parents. The parents taking care of a child with special needs.”

Anointing of the Sick is among the Sacraments, such as Baptism and Confirmation, during which Catholics are anointed with Holy Oils. When administering the Sacrament, the priest dips his thumb in Holy Oil, anoints the forehead and palms of the hands and says, “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.”