Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew issued an encyclical regarding the Feast of the Holy Physicians.
On October 17, 2021, the Church will honor for the first time the contribution of medical science to humankind following the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the Synaxis of the Holy Physicians.
The Holy Synod decided to establish the Sunday closest to October 17 and 18 each year (when the Synaxis of the Holy Unmercenary Healers and the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke the Doctor are commemorated) as the day of the Synaxis of all the Holy Physicians “as an appreciation for the essential contribution of the medical science and its ministers toward humanity.”
In the encyclical, the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed the significance of the doctors, nurses, and specialist healers and the reasons to be honored by the Church.
Specifically, he mentioned: “As bearers of divine grace and imitators of the God-man Christ who sanctified and renewed all creation through His incarnation, the objective of their endeavors was to introduce the fallen nature of humankind to the new creation by jointly healing body and soul, thereby demonstrating the value of human existence as a psychosomatic unity, but also the mutual unity between God and humanity.”
The encyclical congratulated and praised the work of the physicians since “as the Saints, exercised their profession and afforded care and support to the sick, contributed their services with self-sacrifice and tenderness, surpassing human standards under difficult circumstances, in order to confront the multidimensional consequences of this health crisis.”