Pope to make Lourdes pilgrimage

Pope Benedict XVI will be attending the 150th anniversary celebrations of Our Lady of Lourdes, although an exact date of his trip has not been set.

Catholic News Agency reports that Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes Jacques Perrier said a Junbilee Year, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, will be held from 8 December 2007 to 8 December 2008.

"This is to take place within the context of the new evangelisation," Bishop Perrier said.

"The mission of the Church in each of these fields will become apparent during the Jubilee Year with pilgrimages, meetings and initiatives.

"The mission of the Church to the sick will be made manifest thanks to the UNITALSI (Italian National Union for Transport of the Sick to Lourdes and International Shrines) pilgrimages," he said.

Bishop Perrier said the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick on 11 February 2008, the first of the 18 apparitions of the Virgin to Bernadette, will be commemorated. From 18 February, on the Feast of St. Bernadette, the first of the 15 consecutive apparitions will be remembered.

"Our Lady asked Bernadette to come to the Grotto every day, and she kept her promise despite the difficulties."

From July 15 - 20 2008, to coincide with World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, various groups of young Christian artists will perform in Lourdes.

It is expected that an estimated eight million pilgrims will visit Lourdes for the Jubilee Year.

Celebrations organized for the 150th anniversary of Lourdes apparitions
(Catholic Newss Agency, 13/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Bernadette pilgrimages
St Bernadette (Wikipedia)

Priest offers $5000 to disprove miracles of Lourdes (CathNews, 30/08/04)
Italian woman healed at Lourdes (CathNews, 15/11/05)
Church probes new Lourdes cure (CathNews, 09/09/03)
Stronger Pope thanks God for Lourdes pilgrimage (CathNews, 19/08/04)

14 Nov 2007