Pope Francis Offers Month of Prayers for the Depressed


Pope Francis has announced his prayer intention for the month of November, which focuses on those suffering from depression. “Let us pray that people suffering from depression or burnout may find support and a light from everyone that opens them to life,” he said Wednesday in a video message distributed through his Worldwide Prayer Network. “Work overload and stress cause many people to experience extreme exhaustion — mental, emotional, affective, and physical exhaustion,” the pontiff declared. “Sadness, apathy, and spiritual fatigue end up dominating the life of people, who find themselves overwhelmed by the pace of modern life,” he continued. These people need support from friends and a listening ear rather than advice, he suggested. “Let us try to be close to those who are exhausted, desperate, and hopeless, often simply listening in silence,” he said, “because we cannot go and say to a person: ‘No, life is not so bad. Listen to me, I’ll give you the formula.’ There is no formula.” The pope also said that along with psychological accompaniment, which is useful and effective, the words of Jesus also help, such as his invitation: “Come to me all you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you” (Matt 11:28-30). In its material accompanying the pope’s video message, the Worldwide Prayer Network notes that 1 in 10 people lives with a mental health disorder and that the coronavirus pandemic “has had a major impact on mental health.”

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