The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
11th February [World Day of Prayer for the Sick]
In consultation with Fr. Adrian Morrin, the Diocesan Pilgrimage Director we have reluctantly decided that it would not be possible this year to organise and run safely the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.
It is at times like this that the prayer of pilgrimage is most deeply needed, represented by the time spent at prayer in the Sanctuary and following the practices of the shrine. This absence will be most sorely felt, but until the time that such travel is safe, and permitted, it seems best to be decisive, avoid any further doubt and say with regret, ‘Not this year.’
Until such time as the pandemic is contained and we are able to travel to Lourdes again, we can nevertheless recall the basic evangelical teachings of the Blessed Virgin Mary spoken to a simple docile girl Bernadette, and of course, to seek to live by them.
We can contemplate:
the Experience of God through Prayer;
the Value of Suffering;
Repentance, Conversion, Purification;
Rebuilding the Church on the Move;
the Place of Silence in our Lives.
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere
to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
and to proclaim your greatness with due praise, as we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Receiving your Word in her Immaculate Heart, she was found worthy to conceive him in her virgin’s womb and, giving birth to the Creator, she nurtured the beginnings of the Church.
Standing beside the Cross, she received the testament of divine love and
took to herself as sons and daughters all those who by the death of Christ are born to heavenly life.
As the Apostles awaited the Spirit you had promised, she joined her supplication to the prayers of the disciples and so became the pattern of the Church at prayer.
Raised to the glory of heaven, she accompanies your pilgrim Church with a mother’s love
and watches in kindness over the Church’s homeward steps until the Lord’s Day shall come in glorious splendour. And so, with all the angels and saints, we praise you without end.
From the Preface of the Mass Our Lady, Mother of the Church.
Roman Missal ©2010 ICEL
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
St. Bernadette, pray for us