DOCTOR´S PRAYERS

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/018q01.pdf

Le preghiere del medico

di José María Simón Castellví
Presidente della Federazione internazionale
delle associazioni mediche cattoliche


Il giuramento di Ippocrate è un documento, noto non solo nel campo della medicina, che in alcune università i nuovi medici leggono solennemente durante una cerimonia al termine della carriera universitaria. Si tratta di un testo molto valido dal punto di vista dell’etica professionale, salvo in alcune versioni che in malafede eliminano la tutela della vita nascente: il non dover dare prodotti abortivi scompare o viene sostituito con una frase anodina, a discapito della professione o della verità storica.
Tuttavia l’invocazione di Apollo, Asclepio, Igea, Panacea e di altre divinità, nonostante sia suggestiva e non comporti un grande pericolo di politeismo in occidente, non mi convince del tutto. Il Signore è l’unico Dio. Ma esistono tre preghiere specifiche che il medico cristiano può recitare, e che richiamano prepotentemente la mia attenzione per la loro bellezza, devozione e dottrina.
La prima è un giuramento anonimo cristiano dei primi secoli, scritto in greco e conservato in un manoscritto vaticano medievale, ma il cui uso è attestato sin dal IV secolo. Il testo inizia con una benedizione a Dio, Padre, e continua affermando che il medico non macchierà la sua scienza, che a nessuno somministrerà un veleno anche se ne sarà richiesto, che non provocherà mai un aborto, che agirà secondo scienza e coscienza sempre a favore dei malati, in santità, evitando l’erotismo, custodendo il segreto (“come un segreto sacro”). La preghiera si conclude invocando l’aiuto di Dio e il rispetto degli uomini, con un monito: il medico non si salverà se giurerà il falso. Si tratta di uno stupendo compendio dei comandamenti e della legge naturale per l’esercizio della professione medica.
Un’altra preghiera che mi colpisce sempre è quella attribuita a Mosè Maimonide, il medico ebreo nato a Córdoba, in Spagna, nel XII secolo. In essa chiede a Dio che ci riempia di amore per l’arte medica e per tutte le creature, che ci allontani dalla sete di guadagno e dal desiderio di gloria, che ci dia forza per servire il povero e il ricco, l’amico e il nemico, il buono e il cattivo, che non ci faccia distrarre, che ci faccia apprezzare il progresso della medicina e che i pazienti abbiano fiducia in noi.
Contiene quindi alcune parole che suonano decisamente attuali, applicabili al campo medico e a quasi ogni altro ambito, e specialmente alla cosiddetta tv spazzatura: “Allontana dai miei pazienti i ciarlatani, l’esercito di parenti che danno mille consigli e portano molte volte alla morte. Se gli ignoranti mi scherniscono, concedimi, Signore, la corazza dell’amore della mia arte. Dammi pazienza dinanzi ai maleducati e agli appassionati”. Si vede da queste espressioni che l’homo sapiens è lo stesso in ogni epoca.
Nella preghiera si chiedono anche forza di volontà e l’opportunità di ampliare sempre più le proprie conoscenze, cioè l’equivalente attuale della formazione permanente, tanto elogiata dalla comunità internazionale. Non posso non ricordare l’opera che per secoli gli ebrei sefarditi hanno realizzato per la diffusione della lingua spagnola e della medicina su base scientifica.
La terza grande preghiera del medico è quella che Giovanni Paolo II, prossimo alla beatificazione, scrisse il 29 giugno del 2000 ai medici cattolici, consegnata alla Federazione internazionale delle associazioni mediche cattoliche. Si tratta di un vero e proprio gioiello che in molti recitiamo spesso, in diverse lingue.
Papa Wojtyla inizia con un’invocazione al Signore Gesù, medico divino, che nella sua vita terrena ha prediletto quanti soffrono e ha affidato ai suoi discepoli il ministero della guarigione. Parla poi della nostra grande missione, del servizio quotidiano, dello strumento dell’amore di Dio. Ci chiede di saper scoprire negli altri il volto di Cristo. Parla della verità, della sapienza, della scienza, delle cause e dei rimedi, della verità e della vita: che l’annuncio, la testimonianza, l’impegno a favore di quanti hanno più bisogno, sull’esempio dei santi medici, ci aiutino a rinnovare le strutture sanitarie. Che Dio benedica il nostro studio, illumini la nostra ricerca e i nostri insegnamenti. E “che al termine del nostro pellegrinaggio terreno possiamo contemplare il tuo volto glorioso e provare la gioia dell’incontro con te nel tuo regno di gioia e di pace infinite”.

(©L’Osservatore Romano – 23 gennaio 2011)

From Hippocrates to John Paul II

The prayers of the doctor

José María Simón Castellví
President of the World Federation
of the Catholic Medical Associations

The Hippocratic Oath is a document, known not only in medicine, which in some universities, the new doctors solemnly read at a ceremony at the end of their university career. This is a very good text from the standpoint of professional ethics, except in some versions that eliminate in bad faith the protection of unborn life: not having to give products for abortion disappears or is replaced with an anodyne phrase, to the detriment of the profession or of historical truth.
However, the invocation of Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia, Panacea and other deities, even though it is suggestive and does not involve a great danger of polytheism in the West, it is something I do not like. The Lord is the only God! But there are three specific prayers that the Christian doctor can perform, and that strongly recall my attention for their beauty, devotion and doctrine.
The first is an anonymous pledge of the early Christian centuries, written in greek and kept in a medieval manuscript, in the Vatican Biblioteca, but the use of which is attested since the fourth century. The text begins with a blessing from God, the Father, and goes on to say that the doctor will not stain his science, which will not administer poison to anyone even if they will be required, which will not cause an abortion ever, acting in good faith always for the sick, holy, without eroticism, guarding the secret (“as a sacred secret”). The prayer ends by invoking God’s help and respect of men, with a warning: you doctor will not be saved if you will swear falsely. This is a wonderful compendium of the commandments and the natural law for the practice of medicine.
Another prayer that always strikes me is the one attributed to Moses Maimonides, the physician jew born in Cordoba, Spain, in the twelfth century. In it she asked God to fill us with love for the art of medicine and for all creatures, that we move away from the thirst for profit and the desire of glory, that gives us strength to serve the poor and the rich, the friend and the enemy, the good and the bad, that we do not distract us, that makes us appreciate the progress of medicine and that patients have confidence in us.
Thus contains some words that sound very current and applicable to the medical field and almost every other area, especially the so-called trash TV, “Take away from my patients the charlatans, the army of relatives who give hundreds of suggestions and many times lead to death. If the ignorant ridicule me, give me, Lord, love, the armor of my art. Give me the patience in the face and rude to fans.” We see from these expressions that the homo sapiens is the same in every age.
In prayer, give us willpower and also want the opportunity to expand the knowledge more and more, that is the modern equivalent of lifelong learning, so highly by the international community. I can not forget the work that Sephardic Jews for centuries have made for the dissemination of Spanish and medicine on a scientific basis.
The third great prayer of the doctor is what John Paul II, next to the beatification, wrote June 29 in 2000 to Catholic doctors, delivered to the World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations. This is a real gem that many of us recite often in several languages.
Pope John Paul II begins with an invocation to the Lord Jesus, the divine physician, who in his earthly life has favored those who suffer and entrusted to his disciples the ministry of healing. Then speaks of our great mission, the daily service, the instrument of God’s love asks us to be able to discover the other face of Christ. Speaks about the truth, wisdom, science, causes and remedies, truth and life; the witness, the commitment to those most in need, following the example of the holy doctors, help us to renew the health facilities. May God bless our study, enlighten our research and our teaching. And “at the end of our earthly pilgrimage may we contemplate your glorious face and feel the joy of meeting you in your kingdom of joy and everlasting peace.”

(© L’Osservatore Romano – January 23, 2011)

Other important prayers:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/prayers/documents/hf_p-xii_19570510_prayer-medico_it.html

http://www.amigosdelolo.com/el-medico-mesa-redonda-con-dios-232.html

http://www.mediciconsacrati.it/Preghiere.htm

http://www.fiamc.org/uncategorized/preghiera-del-chirurgo/

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13 Comments

  1. Adam Lorincz says:

    Could you give any reference to the Greek text please? Maybe could you publish the Greek text itself?

    Thank you very much!

    Reply
  2. Dr. J.Ma. Simón says:

    As a result of my article on Osservatore Romano, there has been a fruitful and kind feed-back between doctors and some bishops and cardinals. Other prayers are listed on our website.

    Reply
  3. Dott. Luigi says:

    Bravo!

    Reply
  4. Salve María!!Kejaritomene!!! GOD is with you!!!!!!!!! Grace and blessings
    I’ve the blessing of being starting Project”Health of the ill” in wich one of the priorities is to practice Catholic Medicine. Catholic Medicine is the one that take opportunity of each consultation for giving the Godspel!!I will be honored if we can get in touch for exchanging the LOVE of JESUS!!

    Yours

    Dr Rodrigo Boy

    Reply
  5. Dr. Chudi Nwoye says:

    Could you be gracious and give us the English text of the prayer by John Paul II. God bless us as we struggle to keep our heads up in a world that is rejecting and refusing everything divine and dragging itself to a catastrophic end.

    Reply
    • fiamc says:

      PRAYER OF THE CATHOLIC DOCTORLord Jesus,Divine Physician, who in your earthly life showed special concern for those who suffer and entrusted to your disciples the ministry of healing, make us ever ready to alleviate the trials of our brethren. Make each one of us, aware of the great mission that is entrusted to him, strive always to be, in the performance of daily service, an instrument of your merciful love. Enlighten our minds, guide our hands, make our hearts diligent and compassionate. Ensure that in every patient we know how to discern the features of your divine Face.You who are the Way, provide us with the gift of knowing how to imitate you every day as medical doctors not only of the body but of the whole person, helping those who are sick to tread with trust their own earthly path until the moment of their encounter with You.You who are the Truth, provide us with the gift of wisdom and science in order to penetrate the mystery of the human person and their transcendent destiny as we draw near to them in order to discover the causes of their maladies and find suitable remedies.You who are the Life, provide us with the gift of preaching and bearing witness to the ‘Gospel of life’ in our profession, committing ourselves to defending it always, from conception to its natural end, and to respect the dignity of every human being, and especially the dignity of the weakest and the most in need.Make us O Lord, Good Samaritans, ready to welcome, treat, and console those we encounter in our work. Following the example of the holy medical doctors who have preceded us, help us to offer our generous contribution to the constant renewal of health care structures.

      Bless our studies and our profession, enlighten our research and our teaching.

      Lastly, grant to us, having constantly loved and served You in our suffering brethren, that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage we may contemplate your glorious countenance and experience the joy of the encounter with You in your Kingdom of joy and everlasting peace.
      Amen.

      The Vatican, 29 June 2000
      John Paul II.

      Reply
  6. Dr Ametlla says:

    The Great Pope for Doctors!

    Reply
  7. Dr. Antonio López says:

    Me gusta el artículo y las plegarias. Todo médico debería decir alguna diariamente. Saludos cordiales. Antonio

    Reply
  8. Dr Antoine Bonjour says:

    MERCI BIEN!

    Reply
  9. Dr. gian Messa says:

    Congratulations, Simon.

    Reply
  10. Dr. Xavi Cots says:

    Tres bien!

    Reply
  11. Dr. Anthoni Frings says:

    by Dr. Joseph R. Stanton

    I swear in the presence of the Almighty and before my family, my teachers and my peers that according to my ability and judgment I will keep this Oath and Stipulation:

    To reckon all who have taught me this art equally dear to me as my parents and in the same spirit and dedication to impart a knowledge of the art of medicine to others. I will continue with diligence to keep abreast of advances in medicine. I will treat without exception all who seek my ministrations, so long as the treatment of others is not compromised thereby, and I will seek the counsel of particularly skilled physicians where indicated for the benefit of my patient.
    I will follow that method of treatment which according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patient and abstain from whatever is harmful or mischievous. I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform act or omission with direct intent deliberately to end a human life. I will maintain the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life.
    With purity, holiness and beneficence I will pass my life and practice my art. Except for the prudent correction of an imminent danger, I will neither treat any patient nor carry out any research on any human being without the valid informed consent of the subject or the appropriate legal protector thereof, understanding that research must have as its purpose the furtherance of the health of that individual. Into whatever patient setting I enter, I will go for the benefit of the sick and will abstain from every voluntary act of mischief or corruption and further from the seduction of any patient.
    Whatever in connection with my professional practice or not in connection with it I may see or hear in the lives of my patients which ought not be spoken abroad I will not divulge, reckoning that all such should be kept secret.
    While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art and science of medicine with the blessing of the Almighty and respected by my peers and society, but should I trespass and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot.

    A copy of The 1995 Restatement of the Hippocratic Oath in hand-drawn calligraphy, on 20″ high parchment may be ordered from The National Catholic Bioethics Center, 159 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02135—
    Email: jford@pjcenter.org— Call: 1 (617) 787-1900 —Fax: 1 (617) 787-4900

    Reply

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