National pilgrimage gathers thousands of French people in the Sanctuary of Lourdes

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The initiative, which begun in 1872, will continue with processions, masses, recitations of the rosary , prayers, conferences, and meetings until August 16.

Newsroom (August 12, 2021 15:57, Gaudium Press) Thousands of pilgrims from all over France are taking part in the national pilgrimage to Lourdes, which this year follows the theme ‘All called to fraternity’. The initiative, created in 1872, will continue with processions, Masses, recitations of the rosary, prayers, conferences and meetings until August 16.

The director of the pilgrimage, Father Vincent Cabanac, said that “Mary invites us to welcome a message that she delivers in the cave of Massabielle and calls us to prayer and penance to heal ourselves.”

Lourdes is a land of fraternity

The rector of the shrine, Monsignor Olivier Ribadeau-Dumas, affirmed that “Lourdes is a land of fraternity,” because in the encounter between Mary and St. Bernadette “a fraternity begins that is manifested in the relationship between the sick and the hospital workers, between people who come from different cultures, between generations.

For the rector of the sanctuary of Lourdes “it is important that Christians have the concern to be bearers of peace and to live the Gospel in their works. And the Gospel speaks to us of charity, fraternity and mercy. We have a special responsibility and coming to Lourdes means recharging our batteries with the Virgin Mary to be able to live the evangelical values in our daily lives.”

148th National Pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Lourdes

This is the 148th national pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine of Lourdes. This time, foreign pilgrims are absent and sanitary measures have been implemented. Processions will be limited to 50 people and must remain static on the esplanade. Pilgrims will not be allowed to touch the rock or go to the baths.

The organizers of the religious event expect around 3,000 participants and 300 patients, a much reduced number compared to usual. For this year, 2021, around 1 million people are expected to visit Lourdes. In previous years, without the pandemic restrictions, the French shrine received an average of 3.5 million pilgrims. (EPC)

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