World Day of the Sick - a holiday celebrated annually on 11 February, established by Pope John Paul in 1992, the idea of which is to draw attention to the problems of the sick, including the need to provide better care for the sick, to appreciate the suffering of the sick, and to promote the involvement of voluntary work in helping the sick.

For more than 10 years now, as part of the celebration of this holiday on the initiative of the Order of the Servants of the Sick - Camillian Fathers and the Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education, the St. Camillus Awards have been granted to persons of particular merit in supporting the sick. The awards are presented at a gala ceremony in Warsaw.

St Camillus Award Ceremony

The St Camillus - Patron Saint of the Sick and of the Health Service Award was established in 2007 on the initiative of the Order of the Servants of the Sick and the Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education. The main idea of this Award is to promote individuals and institutions that have made a special contribution to building a culture of mercy, acceptance and solidarity with the suffering and their families. "The award is a symbol of the help provided to every sick person, regardless of their worldview, faith or type of illness." - (Msgr Władysław Ziółek, Senior Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Łódź, member of the Chapter of the St Camillus Award).

The Holy Father's annual message to the sick becomes the inspiration for the members of the St Camillus Award chapter to award prizes and distinctions. The awards are presented at the St Camillus Gala each year in four categories:  

  • healthcare professionals passionate about their mission for the benefit of patients,
  • patient associations and organisations that are models of care for patients and their families,
  • public media and public life creators promoting health education,
  • Category " Special Award" for outstanding achievement in the service of the sick.

The Awards Gala is a nice occasion to express gratitude to the leaders of patient organisations from all over Poland, the medical and nursing community and other healthcare professionals present at the ceremony. Approximately 400 people representing the above communities attend the Gala each year. It is assumed that the awards in individual categories are presented by guests of honour, who are representatives of the highest ecclesiastical and state authorities present in a given year. In past years, the guests of honour at the Gala included the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr Bronisław Komorowski and his wife, the Speaker of the Polish Sejm and the Prime Ministers of the Polish Government, Mr Donald Tusk and Mrs Ewa Kopacz. The ecclesiastical authorities have so far been represented by, among others: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Warsaw, and the Primate of Poland Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk and Archbishop Henryk Muszyński. Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Ordinary of the Warsaw-Praga Diocese, also takes part in the Gala every year.

St Camillus Award Chapter:

  • His Excellency Archbishop Władysław Ziółek - former Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Łódź
  • Dr Arkadiusz Nowak - Provincial of the Order of the Servants of the Sick - Camillian Fathers
  • Prof. Mirosław Kalinowski - Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin
  • dr hab. Dorota Karkowska - University of Lodz, Faculty of Law and Administration
  • Krystyna Wechmann - President of the Federation of "Amazons" Associations
  • Magdalena Bojarska - Institute for Patients' Rights and Health Education
  • Jadwiga Kaminska - President of the Journalist Club for Health Promotion
  • Elżbieta Radziszewska - Member of the Polish Parliament
  • Eleni Tzoka - Singer, cultural figure
  • Marek Jarema, MD, PhD - Polish Psychiatric Association

The celebrations are also accompanied by a convention of patient organisation leaders from all over Poland, who participate in the ceremonial celebrations, meetings with representatives of state institutions, as well as training sessions and mentoring workshops organised.


Award winners 2016:
Award winners 2015: