Lourdes, a national Sanctuary with a truly international flavour

During the month of June, the Sanctuary and the streets of the town take on the air of an international capital.

Come and enjoy an international experience and meet pilgrims and visitors from Germany, Poland, Croatia, Brazil, Portugal… Come in procession!
Come and touch the rock in the Grotto, drink the water and light a candle like all the other Lourdes pilgrims.

“Go and tell the priests that people should come [here] in procession.”

The Sanctuary of Lourdes is suggesting, as its pastoral theme, the words that Mary, the Mother of God, spoke to Bernadette Soubirous on 2nd March 1858:
“Go and tell the priests to build a chapel here and that people should come here in procession.”
To reflect the content and richness of these words, and to give pilgrims a better appreciation of them, they have been divided into three phases: in 2022: “Go and tell the priests…”; in 2023, “…to build a chapel here…”; in 2024, “…that people should come here in procession”.

In Lourdes, during the month of June, the Sanctuary welcomes processions of people from every race, language and nation. French-speaking pilgrims are in a real minority. They are well represented, however, by the diocesan pilgrimages of Lyon, Saint-Flour, Arras, Lille, Aire and Dax with their children, and the veterans of North Africa… not forgetting the great pilgrimage of motorcyclists, eagerly awaited by fans of two-wheeled vehicles and by the children of Lourdes for the events held throughout the town!

Our Italian neighbours also come in large numbers, including pilgrims from the Calabria region, Verona and Genoa, with UNITALSI and OFTAL… giving the streets of Lourdes an air of the ‘Dolce Vita’…

If we go further south of our region, we find ourselves with our Spanish friends from Catalonia who will be here with their joy and friendliness: from Vic-Solsona, Girona, Barcelona, Saint-Feliu, Terrassa, Lleida… Not forgetting all those who have travelled from Mallorca, Valencia, Vigo, Albacete, Mérida, Ciudad-Real… and Rioja, a region well known for its vineyards, whose young people play a very active part in their pilgrimage; throughout the year they offer virtual pilgrimages to Lourdes, spiritual workshops, companionship…

The English language is also very well represented. You’ll hear it in a wide variety of accents with our pilgrim friends from Waterford, the Irish Association of Lourdes Volunteers, the North American Volunteers, as well as those arriving from Ireland, Miami or pilgrims with disabilities who come to Lourdes with the Across association.

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