LOURDES The Diary of Grace on video #12 "Mary, if you want me to really believe..."
Laurent de Liedekerke is from Brussels in Belgium. During a pilgrimage to Lourdes with the équipes Saint-Michel, he accompanied a person with autism who was prone to self-harm. This person went missing at one stage. At the Grotto Laurent immediately made a personal act of faith to find him: "Mary, if you want me to really believe..." And straight away he found him. Together at the Grotto, a ‘little miracle’ occurred: the person with autism calmed down and Laurent built the first real, sincere friendship of his life.
Laurent : "When I was 14, I went on pilgrimage with the équipes Saint-Michel and this is where I met a person with autism who was prone to self-harm. And something drew me to him. At the end of the pilgrimage he gave me his hand and I felt something special through this hand. I said to myself, “next year I’ll do what the fox and the Little Prince did, I’ll get to know him and I’ll look after him and spend a month and a half of my holidays with him. And that is what I did. I went to his family and helped his mother to look after him. When it was time for the pilgrimage to Lourdes, the person who was due to accompany him cancelled at the last minute. And I came here to Lourdes with him. He was hitting himself again and again, which scared all the people on pilgrimage with us. At some point, the pilgrimage doctor said to me, “Laurent, go to bed, I’ll look after him”, which is what he did. However he lost him ! So he immediately came and woke me, he said, “Laurent, he’s missing!” His mother had entrusted him to me : I was somewhat panicked. And we went looking for him. I was near the Grotto and I said, “Mary help us to find him if you want me to really believe!!!” And I found him opposite the Grotto, in the Prairie. There were lots of people around him trying to restrain him because he was hitting his head against the ground. I put him back in his wheelchair, and thanking the people I quickly left. Then I found myself in front of the Grotto and he started to calm down, and stopped hitting himself. I thanked Mary for that, and also because I had become aware of the friendship I had for him. This is my first real, sincere friendship and I thanked Mary for that. This was the first time I had a personal faith experience and this helped me, and still helps me in my daily life."