Every 8th December, the Sanctuary of Lourdes celebrates the feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Monsignor Jean-Marc Micas, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, warmly invites you to the international mass which he will preside at 10 a.m. in the Basilica of Saint Pius X.
The celebration will be followed by the Angelus prayer and a floral homage to the Immaculate Virgin, at the Grotto.
This year, the singers and musicians of the Sanctuary will be offering an “Ode to the Immaculate”, at 2:30 p.m., in the Rosary Basilica.
This year, 8 December, marks the 90th anniversary of the canonisation of Saint Bernadette, the young woman from Bigorre who was given the name of the Lady on 25 March 1858: “I am the Immaculate Conception”.
Programme of celebrations
THURSDAY 7th DECEMBER
11:00am: Pilgrims’ Mass at the St Cosmas and Damian Chapel
3:00pm: Rosary at the Grotto
8:30pm: Marian torchlight procession with the relics of Saint Bernadette, followed by veneration of the relics and a tribute to Saint Bernadette – basilica of Saint Pius X
FRIDAY 8th DECEMBER
10am: International Mass presided over by Mgr. Micas, followed by a procession to the Grotto for the Angelus and the floral tribute to the Immaculate Conception.
2pm: Tour of the statues of Bernadette (FR)
3:00pm: Rosary at the Grotto
4:15pm: “The holiness of Bernadette” – a lecture by Father Horacio Brito at the information centre (FR)
5pm: Adoration and blessing of the Blessed Sacrament at the Basilica of Saint Pius X
8:30pm: Torchlight procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
SATURDAY 9th DECEMBER
3:00 p.m.: Rosary at the Grotto
5:00 p.m.: Adoration and Eucharistic praise in the basilica of Saint Pius X
8:30 p.m.: Torchlight Marian Procession
Thousands of roses will be placed in the Grotto
On 8th December, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the Spanish Steps in Rome, the Pope will lay a bouquet of flowers at the foot of a marble column, more than 11 metres high and supporting a statue of Mary, to pay homage to her Immaculate Conception. On that same day, in Lourdes, at the very place where the Virgin said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, the Sanctuary will be joining in with the Holy Father’s actions: thousands of roses, ordered online by pilgrims via our website, will be placed in the Grotto, at the feet of Our Lady, to pay her homage and thus prolong the joy that Bernadette experienced when she said, “She had a yellow rose on each foot, the colour of her rosary chain,”
This year Lourdes and Rome will once again be united, when a wreath of roses is laid in the name of the sanctuary of Lourdes, at Place d’Espagne, by the Rector of the neighbouring Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte (named the “Lourdes of Rome” by Benedict XV). A vase of roses will also be placed in the grotto of Massabielle, in the name of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte.
“If she wants the chapel, ask her to say her name and make the rose bush in the grotto bloom!” Father Peyramale said to Bernadette Soubirous.
The rose has been associated with Our Lady of Lourdes since the first Apparition when Mary appeared adorned with a yellow rose on each foot. Father Peyramale, perplexed at the Lady’s request for a Chapel, had the idea of asking for a sign and made his expectations clear to Bernadette Soubirous: “Well! if she wants the chapel, ask her to say her name and make the rose bush in the grotto bloom!” He added, “If she says her name, and if she makes the rosebush bloom, we will build her chapel, and it won’t be a small one either! It will be very big!” (Laurentin Bernadette Speaks)
The rosary makes the world bloom: a chain of prayer on every continent
Believers from around the world are invited to join in this event by offering a rose to Mary (via our online form). At the same time, on this same day, on every continent, an immense prayer chain will be organised, an initiative of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Padre Pio prayer groups. They will be actively participating in this prayer chain meditating on the Rosary of the Immaculate. Why don’t you join them? Saint Padre Pio said, “Let us love the Virgin and make her loved. Always pray the Rosary!”
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the canonisation of Saint Bernadette on 8 December 1933
So that she could live in peace and to devote her life to God, Bernadette joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity in Nevers on 7th July 1866. She stayed there for thirteen years, during which time she was not afforded any special treatment. She worked as an assistant nurse, then as head of the infirmary and sacristan. She was ill for most of her final four years and died on 16th April 1879 at the age of thirty-five.
Her body was exhumed several times and was found intact, a traditional condition for many canonisations. She was beatified on 14th June 1925 and canonised on 8th December 1933.
Since 1925, she has rested in a glass and bronze casket in the convent chapel.
In commemoration of the canonisation, the Sanctuary of Lourdes installed a statue of Saint Bernadette the nun, which was blessed on 18th February 1934, and which today stands between the confessions chapel and the Bureau of Medical Observations. It is the work of Brother Marie-Bernard, a religious from the Abbey of Aiguebelle, a Trappist monastery. On 8th July 1934, in front of the hospital. the town of Lourdes unveiled a statue of Bernadette as a child, the work of Mr and Mrs Hartmann of Tarbes,
The Sanctuary’s archives hold a number of documents relating to the canonisation: correspondence, the file recognising the miracle of Sister Marie de Saint Fidèle, the poster announcing the forthcoming canonisation of Bernadette and tickets to the canonisation ceremony.
The novena prayer (from 30 th November to 8 th December)
Blessed Virgin Mary, at your school, Bernadette entered into a relationship with the Holy Trinity through the sign of the Cross.
By teaching her prayer and penance for sinners, you conveyed to her the joy of salvation.
You revealed to her the beauty of your pure heart when you said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”.
With Bernadette, we turn to you trusting completely in your maternal intercession.
Accept the intentions of our hearts in this novena of prayer (especially for…)
Our Lady of Lourdes,
We pray to you especially for our own conversion and that of all sinners.
Also, watch over all those who suffer in body or soul.
In the hope that Life will triumph over death, from this moment and for ever more, we want to sing with you the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Every day: 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys,
1 Glory be to the Father.
Confession and communion are particularly recommended during the novena.