I arrived in Lourdes, France on July 31st and left on August 6th.
(I learned that Lourdes is pronounced “Lourd” in French.)
It was a special experience that I’m grateful for. It still seems surreal that God permitted us to go!
Lourdes is a beautiful place, and I hope to return someday.
I’ve been reflecting on my time there, and I’m sure I’ll continue this process for a while…
Since so much occurred during the pilgrimage — and so much is continuing to unfold — I plan to write about it in pieces.
In this post, I’ll share how my friend and I presented our prayer intentions (both your intentions and mine).
First, I’d like to thank those who prayed for me before, during and after the pilgrimage and those who shared their intentions with me.
I did much better than I expected during the pilgrimage, and I know this was the fruit of prayers offered for me.
I owe a great deal to many people. I hope you all know how much I appreciate your actions, even if I can’t tell you personally.
It was a gift to bring the intentions of so many people to such a holy place.
I realize it’s not easy for everyone to share their heart with others…
Please know that if you didn’t share your intentions with me, you were still prayed for!
We prayed for those who read my blog, those who pray for us and those who need prayers but didn’t ask for them.
We experienced many things while in Lourdes. Certain events were planned by us, and others were planned by God.
We physically and spiritually carried all of the prayer intentions while in Lourdes.
I combined my personal intentions with the intentions of others in a word document. Then, I printed the document and kept it in my backpack. It was three-and-a-half pages, double sided!
We wanted to officially present the intentions to Our Lady but weren’t sure where, when or how to do it.
We allowed God to lead us to the right place, at the right time.
On August 5th after Mass, lunch and several other activities, we made our way to the Grotto of Massabielle: the location where Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
Since the Grotto was crowded, we decided to go to the other side of the river which overlooks the Grotto.
The Rosary was being prayed in English, so we were able to listen and spiritually prepare while walking to the location.
When we found an empty bench and were ready to begin reading out the intentions, the bells of the Basilica rang.
(The bells ring every fifteen minutes to the tune of Immaculate Mary. The bells ring at the top of each hour for much louder and longer.)
When we looked at the time, we saw it was three o’clock.
The Significance of the Time
“I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world — mercy triumphed over justice.” ~ Jesus to Saint Faustina
Three o’clock was the time of Jesus’ death and is known as the Hour of Great Mercy.
Since I have a devotion to Divine Mercy, this hour has special meaning for me.
It was the perfect time to offer the intentions; and we couldn’t have planned it to happen that way even if we tried.
(I also entered the Healing Baths just after three o’clock on both occasions.)
Presenting Our Intentions
My friend said a spontaneous prayer, and then we began saying the intentions out loud.
Since we offered the prayers during the Hour of Great Mercy, my friend suggested that we respond to each petition with “Lord, have mercy.”
It was a profound, grace-filled event that was divinely orchestrated.
We were meant to be in that place at that time, and I knew our prayers were being heard in a special way.
After presenting the intentions, we took photos and walked back to the Grotto.
Pilgrims walk through the Grotto to touch the rock and view the flowing spring.
On a previous occasion, we saw a box for prayer intentions and planned to leave the printout there.
After placing the intentions in the box, our offering felt complete.
The desires of our hearts are now with our Mother at the Grotto…
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!