ANOINTING the sick should not be left until "the last minutes" of a person's life, Pope John Paul Ii has said.
"Experience shows that the sacrament produces a spiritual strength that transforms the soul of the sick person and even relieves his physical condition," the Pope said at a general audience in the Vatican this week.
Pope John Paul said that although physical healing was not the essential aim of the sacrament. but that when it happened "it shows the salvation procured by Christ in abundance of charity and mercy toward all the needy". It conferred a "grace of strength that develops courage and the capacity to resist," he said.