The St Francis Leprosy Guild has shared a set of resources in advance of this Sunday’s Gospel reading, which references the skin disease.
Leprosy is mentioned many times in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament. It is described as a scourge, a curse and a terrible affliction requiring cleansing. In Matthew 8:1, Mark 1:40 and Luke 5:12 we read how Jesus cured a man with leprosy. In all three Gospels, the man begged Jesus to cure him and Jesus, filled with compassion for the man’s plight, cured him.
Whilst many think of leprosy as a disease of ancient times, the World Health Organization recently reported that thousands of adults and children have been diagnosed with leprosy in 2021/2022. Many were diagnosed with visible disabilities such as blindness, clawed hands or lost digits, that will affect their lives forever. Moreover, it is readily acknowledged that millions more are undiagnosed, spreading infection within their communities or, living with its life-changing effects such as blindness, clawed hands, or chronic tropical ulcers.