Our family has a very special devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes. My parents volunteer there for a service week each year, my kids love the CCC cartoon about St. Bernadette, and, oh yeah, we believe that my husband is alive because of her intercession. So, even though we have been before, it was a joy to get to visit Lourdes again.
After Barcelona, and its amazing Gothic and Modern wonders, we headed to the Sanctuary at Lourdes, for Lulu’s second visit, which is, admittedly, pretty ridiculous. It’s an embarrassment of riches. She really has no excuse not to be a beacon of sanctity for her generation. But no pressure.
We arrived in the evening, just in time for the Candlelight Rosary Procession.
I love everything about Lourdes. I love that it’s pretty and it’s quiet and it feels set apart. I love that it has beautiful buildings made by man and beautiful surroundings made by God. I love seeing all the pilgrims, but especially the sick ones. So often the weakest among us are unseen, hidden away in houses or facilities, but at Lourdes that’s not the case. I love that everywhere you go you must make way for sick pilgrims in their chairs, being pushed by helpers.
I love that it is a place of quiet reflection but also a place of accomplishment. Mostly, when we visit a religious site, it’s . . . wander into the church, have a look around, snap some pictures, kneel down and say some prayers . . . that’s pretty much it. But at Lourdes, there are Things to DO. Drink the water, check. Go to Mass, check. Go to confession, check. Get dunked in the baths, check. Tour that basilica, and that one, and that other one over there, check. Walk the way of the cross, check. And my favorite thing, the candlelight procession, check. It’s just all so rewarding.
“While walking” is my favorite way to pray. Add beautiful surroundings, candlelight, and thousands of other people, praying alongside me, and, wow. It’s really a thing to behold.
After not much sleep at all in a very lovely little hotel, the husband offered to stay back so Lulu could sleep in, while I went to an early Mass and prayed for your intentions at the Grotto. It was a beautiful experience.
On very short notice, I offered on Facebook and Instagram to take your intentions with me (but I didn’t tell you where) and I was blown away by the response. In just a few hours I had hundreds of comments and emails with prayer requests. I hand copied out each one until I had TEN PAGES of intentions to bring to Our Lady in the Grotto.
I got to kneel there, all by myself (which NEVER happens) and pray for each and every one of those intentions, then I got to leave them inside the grotto for Our Lady. I took them to her and she took it from there. And so far, the reports are pretty great. I’ve received some very lovely emails about prayers answered.
So hurray for that.
Speaking of prayer intentions, one that I took along with me was for Mary Lenaburg and her family. Mary is a true beacon of light in a sometimes dark world. For many years, on her blog Passionate Perseverance, Mary has courageously and joyfully shared the life of her special needs daughter, Courtney. Courtney is now nearing death, and the Lenaburgs must not only plan, but also pay for a funeral for their daughter.
Donations will be used immediately to cover plumbing expenses, anything raised beyond the plumbing costs will go to funeral expenses or to relieve medical debt.
Kendra, the link to donate on PayPal isn't working.
I'd love to do a religious pilgrimage someday. David has a special devotion to Fatima so I'd love to take him there someday. He's never left the US before. I'm hoping we can do it as a 10 or 20 year anniversary trip.
Thank you for praying for all our intentions!
Thanks Amanda, I changed it to just send folks over to Mary's blog, the button there works. And I'll see if I can get the code.
We've been to Fatima as well, Betty had her First Communion there!
Mary sent me the code for the button from her blog, so the one up there should work now!
That Lulu should be super holy, for sure. She won't remember it, but you will, and it will always be special.
I'd love to go to Lourdes. Your trips lately have only helped my desire to see Europe as a practicing Catholic!
Many prayers for the Lenaburgs. May God grant them peace, and plumbing.
Oh how we love Lourdes. It changed our lives. Such a beautiful place of prayer and healing. Thank you so much for your generous mention. We are blessed to be surrounded by so much love. God is so very good. So very good.
Beautiful pictures of the candlelight procession. Oh, how I hope to go back to Lourdes someday!
There is also a 5pm Adoration Procession every day that takes the monstrance from the Adoration Chapel to the huge Pius X underground Basilica for an amazing Benediction Ceremony with all the "Milades" front and center in their Chariots pulled by their server. The Hospitaliers de Notre Dame volunteers all march in it together on Thurs. All of these activities go on every day of the week during the Pilgrimage Season of April thru November. Most Shrines only have activities of this level on the feast days of Our Lady or the Saints.
There are people there from all over the world and though most are Catholic all of the other religions are represented and all are very respectful of the sanctity of the Shrine and Grotto. There is no commercialism in the Shrine but outside both gates there are more rosary stores than anywhere else in the world. If there's a religious article you want you can find it at Lourdes.
I call it a Catholic Disneyland because it's the happiest place on earth even though people come there with their sufferings, they leave them at the foot of the Blessed Mother and leave healed in some way. Miracles happen all day long even though you don't see most of them. I wouldn't miss our week of service there for anything even though it's very long and hard work. It makes you thank of Lord for all of your blessings.
Thank you for offering up those prayers. You're such a blessing to us.
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I can say being from another religion, I have complete faith in catholicism. I believe and pray the worst time I am going through will be over. I need that help from Lord. I only believe other than his intension nothing have any influence on my love Ash.