Pope Francis praised the work of nurses while speaking to the Federation of Professional Nursing Colleges, Health Assistants, and Child Wardens earlier this month.
Francis recalled the work of Dominican Sister Cornelia Caraglio, a nurse from Italy working in Argentina when Francis was a 20 year old young man close to death in the hospital. Nurse Caraglio argued with the doctors over Francis’ treatment and, apparently being convinced that the nurse was right, acted on her recommendations. “Thanks to those things,” Francis said, “I survived.”
Francis encouraged the nurses to “Be attentive to the desire, sometimes unexpressed, of spirituality and religious assistance, which represents for many patients an essential element of sense and serenity of life, even more urgent in the fragility due to illness.”
A Prayer for Nurses
Jesus, you are the Healer
who calls all nurses to serve and to care for people in your name.
As we carry out this holy ministry, be with us,
bless us with the wisdom of your Holy Spirit
and fill us with the compassion
that allows us to put the needs of those we serve before all else.
In the midst of this highly technological and often impersonal age
let us not forget that nursing is fundamentally about being with people in need.
It is about touch … a listening presence … a willing and compassionate heart
that sees beyond symptoms and signs of illness
to a person in need and to their community of concern.
Help us to embrace the charism that is nursing … to make it our own
and in so doing to bring your healing presence into the lives of people in need.
In your holy name we pray.
– Jean deBlois, CSJ
There are several patron saints of nurses:
St. Agatha of Sicily, St. Alexius of Rome, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of God, St. Margaret of Antioch, and St. Raphael the Archangel.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.