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.

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.

“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.”

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