On July 30, 2019 I traveled to Lourdes, France.
It was my first pilgrimage to a Marian apparition site and a memorable experience!
In honor of this anniversary, I’m continuing my Lourdes Series.
In 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous eighteen times in the Grotto of Massabielle.
On March 2nd, in the thirteenth apparition, Mary said:
“Go and tell the priests that people are to come here in procession and to build a chapel here.”
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes website explains:
To obey the Virgin Mary, the priests, who have been given the special mission of celebrating the Mass (also called the Eucharist), lead a Eucharistic Procession every day, in addition to the Marian Torchlight Procession.
Like Adoration, the Eucharistic Procession is an encounter with the Lord Jesus present in the consecrated Host, but with a dynamic and communal dimension. All pilgrims are invited to walk with the sick behind the priest who carries the monstrance and, like the sick, to receive the blessing that Jesus gives as he passes among us. “The Eucharist bathes the tormented soul in light and love,” said Bernadette. Many miraculous healings have occurred during the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Eucharistic procession normally takes place every day from 25th March to 1st November 5 p.m. It starts from the Podium on the Prairie and ends in the underground basilica of Saint Pius X. (Those who cannot take part in the procession should take their place in the basilica as soon as the celebration begins.)
The procession begins with prayer and a reading from Scripture.
Before processing, the priest says, “Let us walk with the Lord since He walks with us.”
The priest carries the Blessed Sacrament as hymns of praise and joy are sung.
A canopy is carried over the priest holding the monstrance, which you may have seen in other Eucharistic processions.
The malades (the sick) are pushed or pulled in special carts by volunteers.
Candles (or torches) and burning incense are carried alongside the canopy.
Once everyone reaches the Basilica of St. Pius X, there’s a time of Adoration followed-by Benediction (a blessing).
It’s a beautiful event which can be heard and seen from everywhere in the Sanctuary. It can even been heard from outside the Sanctuary!
Most of the reported healings and miracles have taken place during the Eucharistic processions.
The Mass, prayers and processions are all live streamed at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes and can be viewed here on YouTube.
Even if you’re not physically present and can only participate spiritually, the Lord may still choose to give you graces if you desire them. (I recently learned this from a priest who I believe to be holy.)
As St. Ignatius Loyola said, “God will not be outdone in generosity.”
Don’t hesitate to ask God for healing, or any of the desires of your heart!
And please don’t miss a single opportunity to adore the Lord and receive Him in Holy Communion.
Jesus is really and truly present — Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity — in the Eucharist.
Jesus, Who is fully present in the Eucharist in Lourdes, is also fully present in every Catholic Church throughout the world — in the tabernacle, at Eucharistic Adoration, and at the Consecration during Mass.
The grace and power of God are contained in a tiny Host. And He’s waiting there just for you, His beloved.
+ To learn more about the pilgrimage, click the LOURDES SERIES tag below