The Church believes and confesses that among the seven sacraments there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness, the Anointing of the Sick: This sacred anointing of the sick was instituted by Christ our Lord as a true and proper sacrament of the New Testament. It is alluded to indeed by Mark, but is recommended to the faithful and promulgated by James the apostle and brother of the Lord (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1511).

This sacrament imparts the grace of the Holy Spirit to those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or advanced age, uniting them to the entire community of faith, and strengthening them to bear their sufferings in the light of the support and prayers of that community.