Pope Francis: Nurses are 'saints next door'

Pope pays tribute to nurses on International Nurses Day on 12 May.

Nurses are "among the saints next door", Pope Francis said in a message for the International Nurses Day on 12 May.

Describing them as the "guardians and preservers of life”, the pontiff thanked nurses for their "service to humanity," reports Vatican News.

The pope noted that due to the coronavirus pandemic, “we have rediscovered the fundamental importance of the role being played by nurses and midwives", paying tribute to their "courage and sacrifices."

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Pope Francis also called on countries around the world to "invest in healthcare as the primary common good", to employ more nurses, and to provide nurses with the training and support necessary to "carry out their service in full dignity.”

The 2020 International Nurses Day coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, recognised globally as the founder of modern nursing.