What God calls each of us to, he explains, is “an attentiveness which considers the other ‘in a certain sense as one with ourselves.’” What we need today is “the grace to build a culture of encounter, of this fruitful encounter, this encounter that returns to each person their dignity as children of God, the dignity of living.” St. Francis of Assisi’s profound conversion included a grace-filled encounter with a person suffering from leprosy. In the end, he cared for that person—the leper who was a figure of Christ crucified—helped him, and kissed him. Every true encounter has the power to restore life and hope.“ Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson cites the Holy Father Francis, in the Evangelii Gaudium, in his Message on the occasion of the 66th World Leprosy Day, which was celebrated Sunday, January 27, 2019, entitled "Ending Discrimination, Stigma and Prejudice".
In the text, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development invites Catholic health institutions, local health care systems, government agencies and NGOs to form partnership for people with Hansen's disease, to promote general awareness of the disease and to work "complete integration of the person in all of his or her bodily and spiritual dimensions" to eliminate "discrimination, stigma and prejudice".