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Coming to Lourdes in procession

In Lourdes, on 2nd March 1858, during the thirteenth apparition, the Lady at the Grotto of Massabielle asked Bernadette, “Go and tell the priests that people should come here in procession and to have a chapel built.”

Come and be part of this tide of light. Light a candle, sing the Ave Maria, in front of the Rosary Basilica, which is illuminated especially for the occasion.

2nd March 1858 at Lourdes

Those who were with Bernadette on 2nd March 1858, ran to the presbytery to be the first to tell the parish priest the message. They thought the procession should take place on Thursday, because they imagined that, as this would be the last day of the apparitions, it was bound to be accompanied by some kind of incredible event. The women arrived breathless at the old parish priest’s house to tell him that the Blessed Virgin wanted a procession to the Grotto in two days’ time. The priest was very angry and chased them away.

What is a procession?

A religious procession is a procession of the faithful who perform a religious ritual by walking solemnly from one place to another, praying, singing or performing other acts of devotion.
The procession is the symbolic expression of the pilgrimage of life as it moves forward in the company of God.

The Processions in Lourdes

Every day, pilgrims to Lourdes are invited to take part in the processions organised by the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. The processions are a time of passion and emotion and comprise a fundamental part of the day for pilgrims to Lourdes. They an essential experience for pilgrims and visitors to Lourdes.

The Eucharistic procession

Every day from April to the end of October, at 5pm, Lourdes pilgrims gather for the Eucharistic or Blessed Sacrament procession. The procession begins on the podium in the Sanctuary meadow and ends at the underground Basilica of St Pius X with a time of prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is followed by the blessing of pilgrims, especially those who are sick. Those unable to take part in the procession are seated in the basilica as soon as the celebration begins.
Like Adoration, this is an encounter with the Lord Jesus present in the consecrated Host, but with a dynamic, community dimension. All pilgrims are invited to walk with the suffering people behind the priest who carries the monstrance and, like them, to receive the blessing that Jesus gives by passing through our midst: “The Eucharist, for the tormented soul, is a bath of light and love,” said Bernadette. Many miraculous cures have occurred as the Blessed Sacrament makes its way around the.

The Marian procession

The Marian procession or torchlight procession has been held at the Sanctuary since 1872. It takes place daily at 9pm, from April to the end of October.
Every evening, as darkness falls over the town, thousands of pilgrims gather and walk in song, candles in hand, from the Grotto of the Apparitions to the esplanade of the Rosary Basilica. At the head of the procession, a statue of the Virgin of Lourdes is carried by the pilgrims. Behind her, pilgrims walk in groups carrying their pilgrimage banners. The sick can also take part in the procession or, if they are unable to do so, can go directly to the esplanade. At the end of the celebration, the priests and bishops present give the blessing.
During the evening procession, pilgrims meditate on the life of Christ. They pray the Joyful Mysteries on Mondays and on Saturdays, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesdays and Fridays, the Glorious Mysteries on Sundays and Wednesdays, and the Luminous Mysteries on Thursdays. Between each “mystery” of the rosary, all the pilgrims sing the Ave Maria of Lourdes in their own language as they hold their candles aloft.
If you would like to take part in the procession by saying a Hail Mary or singing, you should meet at 8.30pm on the rosary esplanade.

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