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CHICAGO — In keeping with decades-long tradition, Cardinal Blasé Cupich visited with sick children at Lurie Children’s Hospital Monday to share a special message of Christmas.

“I really don’t say a whole lot other than I’ll be praying for them and wish them well and but mostly I listen,” Cupich said.

It was Cupich’s fifth visit to the hospital around Christmas, continuing a tradition where the head of the Chicago archdiocese spends time with not only the kids, but also their parents and the staff during the holidays.

“His presence, his peacefulness, the grace that he brings our patients and families is something that is truly remarkable to have him share with those of us who have the privilege of caring for the children here at Lurie,” said Lurie CEO Dr. Tom Shanley.

Cupich says he has such admiration for the parents and the sacrifice they make as they care for their sick children.

“The love and the dedication that they have for their children is really inspiring,” he said. “For me to be here with them and support them is kind of an elixir, it’s an inspiration for me to carry on the work that I do.”

Cupich says the way the heroic children face their suffering, their challenges and their fears puts many adults to shame with the things that we worry about and prioritize.

“They help us focus, as the child in the crib of Christmas reminds us of the things that are important,” Cupich said.

Cardinal Cupich says he can’t imagine celebrating Christmas without coming to Lurie’s.