Chicago (CBS) — Cardinal Blase Cupich carried out an annual Christmas Eve tradition by visiting patients at Lurie Children’s Hospital Monday.

“Despite their suffering, they seem to be able to draw within themselves a joy and a cheerfulness with also a sense of hope about their life,” Cupich said about the young patients.

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The cardinal brought prayers and a holiday message to the kids and their families who can’t be home for Christmas this year. He handed out crosses and cards as a reminder to families that they are not alone.

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“For him to come in and to be here, those are the kind of blessings we want at Christmas,” Priscilla Lang said. “We don’t want presents.”

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Cardinal Cupich also thanked the doctors, nurses and other caregivers for the special care they show in healing young patients.