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Lent during the Apparitions at Lourdes

In this year dedicated to prayer, the Sanctuary of Lourdes is offering some suggestions for experiencing the liturgical season with Bernadette.
Of the eighteen apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette, fourteen took place during Lent.

Lent is a forty-day period of preparation for the feast of Easter, the heart of the Christian faith, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ. It is a 40-day period of fasting that will come to an end on Easter Day 2024.
These forty days allow us to relive, with Christ in the desert, the forty years of the Hebrews’ journey to the Promised Land.
At Lourdes, during the fifteen days of the apparitions, Bernadette was preparing herself for this experience of intimacy with God that the whole community of believers, baptised or about to be baptised, wishes to experience again as each one of them sets out towards Easter.

Bernadette had returned from Bartrès because, as she said, “In Lourdes there is a priest” and she wanted to make her First Holy Communion. During the 8th apparition, the Virgin said to Bernadette, “Penance! Penance! Penance!” and the next day, 25th February 1858, the Lady of the Grotto invited her to perform acts of penance: moving on her knees, kissing the earth and eating grass.
The call to conversion she received from the Virgin Mary was a change of heart.
Pilgrims can prepare for this change of heart by following the Stations of the Cross suggested by the Sanctuary.

Lourdes prepares pilgrims for Easter

Lent is a time for prayer, meditation, sharing and openness to others.
To prepare properly for the great feast of Easter, which this year will take place on 31st March, the Sanctuary suggests meeting with a priest in the Chapel of Reconciliation for a time of confession, a time to re-examine one’s life of faith and receive the Lord’s Mercy.

To confess is to receive God’s forgiveness, to be reconciled with Him, with others and with oneself. The Sanctuary’s “chapelains” are there all year round to help us receive forgiveness. If pilgrims are not yet ready to meet a confessor, they can go to the “listening point”.
Pilgrims can also prepare themselves to experience the Resurrection of Jesus by doing what Mary asked Bernadette to do during the 9th apparition: “Go and drink from the spring and wash yourself there”.


Come and experience Holy Week and Easter in Lourdes!

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