02/11/2022 – Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

St Bernadette was frail and sickly when Our Lady appeared to her in the grotto of the village garbage dump. It was here that she caused a healing spring of water to arise, inviting her children to come on pilgrimage and healing both spiritual and physical. Since then multitudes have flocked to Lourdes.

Appropriately, St John Paul II named the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, the World Day of the Sick and Disabled, setting it aside as a day to ask Our Lady to specially bless those who suffer infirmity.

But healing is only half of the Lourdes story and would not be even possible without the other pillar, the Rosary.

From the first hint of Our Lady’s coming, Bernadette reached for her rosary. At every apparition, St Bernadette prayed the rosary with Our Lady herself joining her for the Glory Be’s.The rosary is part of every moment in Lourdes, whether prayed by pilgrims quietly sitting before the grotto, or when processing each evening, as Our Lady requested, with candles in the courtyard. Beautiful depictions of the mysteries of the rosary line the walls of the basilica.

Without the rosary there is no Lourdes, no healing. It is when like St Bernadette, pilgrims come to Mary and share with her the rosary, that the miracle of healing, or the miracle of acceptance of suffering takes place in a mighty and maternal way.

P.S. Something to look forward to if you are near Dublin. There will be a talk on the heroic life of Fr Willie Doyle by Patrick Kenny on Wednesday 23rd February at 7pm in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.