A new video for Pope Francis’ prayer intention for July was again produced with the help of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The team from the archdiocese also helped produce the pope’s video in May.

Every month, the Rome-based Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network releases “The Pope Video” to broadcast the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions. July 2024’s prayer intention focuses on the pastoral care of the sick and the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.

“We pray that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick confers to those who receive it and their loved ones the power of the Lord and become ever more a visible sign of compassion and hope for all,” July’s prayer intention reads.

Pope Francis speaks in the video about the importance of the sacrament and the misconceptions that anointing of the sick means those who are receiving it are near death.

“When the priest draws near a person to perform the Anointing of the Sick, it is not necessarily to help them say goodbye to life,” Pope Francis said. “Thinking this way means giving up every hope. It means taking for granted that after the priest, the undertaker will arrive.

“It is Jesus himself who comes to relieve those who are sick, to give them strength, to give them hope, to help them; and also to forgive their sins. And this is very beautiful.”

The video produced by the Archdiocese of LA was filmed largely in the Diocese of Allentown (Pennsylvania), including the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena and in homes of local families seeking the anointing of the sick.

“We are grateful to support Pope Francis in inviting people all over the world to pray for those who are sick and seek healing through the sacrament of anointing of the sick,” said Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez. “We pray that the comfort expressed in the Holy Father's video may encourage more people to turn to the Church in their time of need. In God’s plan of love, no one in our society should be left to suffer alone. No one should be sick without someone to comfort them and try to ease their pain.”

“The Pope Video” can be seen on the following platforms:

George Viti receives anointing from Father Matthew Kuna in a scene from the July 2024 Pope Video. (Isabel Cacho)