Lourdes - Priests at your service
By asking Bernadette to “go and tell the Priests”, the Virgin Mary placed them at the very centre of her message. The priests of the Sanctuary – the Chaplains - are there to welcome you and assist you in your pilgrimage. As Pope Francis reminded us, they are “men of peace and reconciliation, servants of life”. Do not hesitate to go and meet them. There are various places where you can find them:
→ From 6.00 am to 11.00 pm every day, some fifty Masses are celebrated in the sanctuary. Enquire at the Information Centre. Bernadette loved the Mass. By relying on the Eucharist she was able to overcome her trials. Her whole life was focused on her faith in the suffering and victorious Jesus. The Mass is source and the life of the Church where Jesus gives himself. I invite you to take part in a Mass to encounter Him. He leads us on the road to Life and Happiness.
→ The Reconciliation Chapel is open every day: 8.00 am-11.30 am and 2.30 pm-6.30 pm. Before seeing pilgrims in the Chapel of Reconciliation, I pray to the Holy Spirit o that He may help me to have a merciful attitude, in my thoughts and in my words, with the conviction that 'everyone has value in the eyes of God'. Through this ministry of forgiveness I witness the Lord's compassion for those who should not have to feel locked into their past, their relationship problems, their sufferings and their sins. Confession is an opening to hope: Jesus did not come to condemn but to save. Do not be afraid. Even if you only have one day, come and receive this sacrament during your pilgrimage. The Lord wants you to be happy.
→ Rosary at the Grotto: Every day in French at 3.30 pm and in Italian at 6.00 pm, in English on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2.30 pm and in Spanish on Thursdays at 2.30 pm. When the Lourdes pilgrims gather at the Grotto for the rosary I think of all those who, throughout the world, are joined in a communion of prayer thanks to the television and radio broadcasts as well as via the website of the Sanctuary. Join them! Together at the Grotto we are not looking to win heaven just for ourselves but we pray that the light of our faith, Jesus Christ, may shine over all humanity.
→ Eucharistic Procession: Every day from 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm. The Eucharistic procession enables us to honour the living presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament in the midst of our humanity. During the procession, we praise, we give thanks and we ask. Before the final blessing there is a time of adoration. We can be silent and pray to God: "Lord, increase my faith.” To help you pray, allow me to share with you a word of Blessed Charles de Foucauld: “To pray is to think of God with love”.
→ Marian Torchlight Procession: every evening from 9.00 pm to 10.00 pm. The Marian procession is one of the wonders of Lourdes. Bernadette went to the Grotto with a candle and the crowd accompanied her in procession. In the footsteps of Bernadette we are invited to become a light for one another. In Lourdes on 14th August 1983, Pope John Paul II prayed for those who were in darkness, in the night of suffering and persecution. The torchlight procession reminds us that light is victorious over the night. During the procession turn your heart to Mary through the hymns and prayers of the rosary: The earth rejoic-es, God comes to save us, The Church echoes The song of the Ave…
Our thanks to Béatrice Rouquet of the Association Lourdes Cancer Espérance for her interviews with the Priests.