Christ strengthens the faithful who are afflicted by illness, providing them with the strongest means of support and comfort. The sick are reminded that Christ and the Church are in communion with their suffering.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick conferred by the anointing with oil and pronouncing of the words prescribed in the liturgical books, commends the faithful who are dangerously ill and suffering to the Lord Jesus in order that he may relieve and save them (cf. Can 998).
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, situated within the Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying, continues Christ’s great concern for the bodily and spiritual welfare of sick people. This ministry is shared by all Christians who visit the sick, remember them in prayer and care for them in time of need (PCS 43).
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church…” (Col 1:24).
“Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
Through the sacred Anointing of the Sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends the sick to the suffering and glorified Lord, asking that he may lighten their suffering and save them, she exhorts them to contribute to the welfare of the whole people of God by associating themselves freely with the passion and death of Christ” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11).