2016 Novena for Life Day 2: end of life

On this second day of the 2016 Novena for Life, we pray that those near the end of their lives receive medical care that respects their dignity and protects their lives.

He showed me how to die with grace and dignity. — Maggie Karner (1965–2015)

  • Read Maggie’s story about being with her dad during the final days of his life
  • Watch/listen Maggie talk about her dad’s legacy and her own diagnosis of terminal illness

The work of education cannot avoid a consideration of suffering and death. These are a part of human existence, and it is futile, not to say misleading, to try to hide them or ignore them. On the contrary, people must be helped to understand their profound mystery in all its harsh reality. Even pain and suffering have meaning and value when they are experienced in close connection with love received and given. In this regard, I have called for the yearly celebration of the World Day of the Sick, emphasizing “the salvific nature of the offering up of suffering which, experienced in communion with Christ, belongs to the very essence of the Redemption”. Death itself is anything but an event without hope. It is the door which opens wide on eternity and, for those who live in Christ, an experience of participation in the mystery of his Death and Resurrection.

— Pope Saint John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, chapter iv, section 99 (1995)




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