Pope Francis asks Catholics to pray in November for people suffering depression

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA

Pope Francis’ general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Nov. 3, 2021. / Vatican Media.

Vatican City, Nov 3, 2021 / 09:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has asked Catholics around the world to pray in November for people suffering from depression or burnout, that they might find the support they need.

He made the appeal in his November prayer intention, shared with an accompanying video on Nov. 3.

“We pray that people who suffer from depression or burnout will find support and a light that opens them up to life,” reads the prayer intention, promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

In the video explaining his prayer intention, Pope Francis said that “sadness, apathy, and spiritual tiredness [can] end up dominating people’s lives.”

“Let us try to be close to those who are exhausted, to those who are desperate, without hope,” the pope said.

“Often, we should just simply listen in silence, because we cannot go and tell someone, ‘No, life’s not like that. Listen to me, I’ll give you the solution.’”

Depression is estimated to affect 280 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Although there are known treatments, many people in low-income countries do not receive any help due to lack of resources or social stigma.

In addition to those who suffer from clinical depression, the pope has also asked for prayers for people who suffer from “overwork and work-related stress” that can cause extreme exhaustion.

In his message, Pope Francis told people not to forget that psychological counseling can be useful and effective.

“Jesus’ words also help,” he said. “It comes to my mind and heart: ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’”

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