Most Rev. Oswald Lewis
Bishop of Jaipur

2018 Easter Message By Most Rev. Oswald Lewis


World Day of the Sick is being celebrated annually on 11th February, on the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, all over the Catholic Church. Special celebrations are held in any one of the important cities, where Papal delegate represents the Holy Father. Traditionally, the Pontiff writes a message to the Universal Church on the occasion of the World Day of the Sick. This year the city of Kolkata, India is hosting the World Day of the Sick. Many Bishops and Archbishops, Cardinals, laity, priests and religious are expected to participate in this mega celebration.

The central theme of Holy Father’s message for the 27th World Day of the Sick, is “Self-giving, generosity and solidarity in response to the mentality of profit at any price”. The opening words of the message are the words of Jesus, when he sent out his disciples to spread the gospel. St. Mathew’s Gospel 10:8 quotes Jesus, “you received without payment give without payment.” Developing the above central theme the Pope reminds us that human life is a divine gift. Life is a gratuitous gift, given to us not because of our merits but because of His love. Hence we cannot treat this gift as our personal possession nor any one’s private property. At birth we are helpless and we need our parents to take care of us. As we grow up, at every stage of our life, we are dependent on others. We are conscious of our limitation and helplessness in every situation. This must make us humble. This realization leads us to show concern, love and service to others and to be in solidarity with our neighbours.

Brief History

Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, is a complete all season destination created in pink stone. Jaipur derives its name from Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, a prince, soldier and astronomer, who built the city in 1721 in accordance with Shilpa Shastra, the ancient Hindu tradition on architecture.

The first Christian presence in Jaipur goes back to the time of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur. In 1728 Father Emmanuel de Figuredo accompanied by a lay man Pedro de Silva, who later settled down in Jaipur, came to Jaipur at the invitation of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The Maharaja gifted a piece of land and contributed generously for building of Sacred Heart Church at Ghat Gate in 1871.

The first resident priest of Jaipur was Fr. Conrad OFM Cap. In 1890 Rajputana and Malwa Missions were created separating them from Agra Diocese and in 1891 this new mission was made into an Apostolic Prefecture appointing Fr. Bertram OFM Cap., as the first Prefect of the new Prefecture. To start with there were five priests and five stations namely Bandikui, Nasirabad, Jaipur, Neemuch and Mhow.

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