Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 64(3) August 2014

Faith in Medicine

Mary the first missionary.
A Rosary meditation on the Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth

VisitationAt the visitation, St. John the Baptist leapt in the womb at the joy of meeting his Saviour. It is held that at the moment of the visitation, St John was baptised, cleansed of his Original Sin and became the first disciple of Jesus. Mary therefore, was the first person to take Jesus to someone else and to bring them to salvation. Mary was truly the first missionary.

In our work, we too are missionaries of Christ, bringing the hope of healing to our patients. Alongside that, the healing of illness itself brings great opportunities for self-reflection and a search for God.

As doctors and nurses, we all work in a very privileged way with patients who both depend upon us and trust us. We understand that each one of our patients is on a journey towards their eternity. It is right therefore that we see what we do as an opportunity to support our patients in that journey. That support must be absolutely based upon excellent medicine

Treatments we give must be both good and effective. The care we offer must  be excellent. That also means that, especially at times of critical illness, we should be willing to enable our patients to access both spiritual and religious care which is appropriate to their background.

Through excellent medicine, which includes enabling appropriate access to spiritual care, we too can bring Christ to the people whom we serve. That is a huge privilege. As we bring Christ to our patients, we follow in the footsteps of Mary, the first missionary.