"The eloquence of the parable of the Good Samaritan, and of the whole Gospel, is especially this: every individual must feel as if called personally to bear witness to love in suffering" (Salvifici doloris, 29).
The following prayers, articles, and educational resources help Catholics bear Christ's love to those who are suffering from illness or dying.
In 2020, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released the letter Samaritanus bonus, “on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life.” The letter reaffirms the Church’s teaching on care for those who are critically ill or dying and offers additional pastoral guidance for increasingly complex situations at the end of life.
Samaritanus bonus: A Compendium
This compendium contains summaries of each section of Samaritanus bonus and was prepared by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities to serve as a resource on and introduction to the letter. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with the study guide.
Samaritanus bonus: Study Guide
This study guide is designed to be used in group settings to discuss and reflect on Samaritanus bonus. It can be used in conjunction with either the “Samaritanus bonus: A Compendium” or with the full document. This study guide provides Scripture passages, prayers, and discussion questions to help participants reflect more deeply on the letter and its central themes and teachings.
The Witness of the Good Samaritan: Palliative Care and Hospice
This four-page document offers a brief overview of key points from Samaritanus bonus with a specific focus on what it says about palliative care and hospice.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the precious gift of life. Help us to cherish and protect this gift, even in the midst of fear, pain, and suffering. Give us love for all people, especially the most vulnerable, and help us bear witness to the truth that every life is worth living. Grant us the humility to accept help when we are in need, and teach us to be merciful to all. Through our words and actions, may others encounter the outstretched hands of Your mercy. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.