“The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1520).
Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of illness are a splendid sign that “God has visited his people” (Lk 7:16). His preferential love for the sick draws special attention to all those who suffer in body and soul. Often Jesus asked the sick to believe because he came to heal the whole person. He gave us this sacrament of comfort and hope.
One of the two Sacraments of Healing is Anointing of the Sick. This sacrament is not only for those who are in danger of death, but suffering a serious illness. The priest prays that they may be healed in body, mind, and spirit.
“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. 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, 1500 – 1501).
The Anointing of the Sick strengthens the person against the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. United in the passion of Christ, a person who suffers participates in the saving work of Jesus. It is given to anyone suffering serious illness, not just to those at the point of departing this life. The power of the sacrament is meant to heal the soul, and also the body if such is God’s will.
The Second Vatican Council stated that the Anointing of the Sick no longer needed to be reserved for the dying.
Anointing Requests: Contact the St. Joseph Parish Office, 636-441-0055, ext. 100
(Parish Office Hours: 8am-8pm Monday-Thursday and 8am-5pm Friday)
Anointing Requests (In Emergency Situation)
St. Joseph Parish priests are always doing their best to care for their parishioners. When emergencies arise and Anointing of the Sick is needed, we want to make sure you or your loved one receive the sacrament as soon as possible. In an emergency situation, as one of our priests may be too far away, each hospital has a pastoral care team on site. Please click here for a few St. Louis Area hospitals and their contact information