16th July marks the anniversary of the 18th and final apparition of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous. This year we are going to celebrate the 3rd virtual world pilgrimage live from Lourdes. You can discover or watch again, what unites millions of people around the world, of all generations and all cultures.
Mgr. Ribadeau-Dumas, Rector of the Sanctuary, and the “chapelains” will launch the day at 7 am from the Grotto of Massabielle.
On the programme: 5 p.m. live from the Grotto of the Apparitions; 4 radio and TV studio sets; 4 international masses, 9 rosaries in 9 different languages and international prayers. We will be crossing time zones to connect with every continent from Asia and Oceania to America via Europe and Africa.
Let us gather around Bernadette of Lourdes in prayer. Connect to the Grotto of Lourdes.
What's new for this 3rd anniversary of Lourdes United?
Bernadette in the spotlight
On 16th July 1858, Bernadette felt the mysterious call of the Grotto, but access to Massabielle had been blocked and the Grotto had been fenced off. So, she went instead to the other side of the Gave… and saw the Virgin Mary, one last time. “I felt that I was in front of the Grotto, at the same distance as before, I saw only the Blessed Virgin, and she was more beautiful than ever!”
On 16th July 2022, Bernadette will return to the Grotto and there she will stay. At 10:55 a.m. there will be a procession and blessing of the statue of Bernadette in ecstasy, which was previously on the ramp to the door of the Saint Pius X Basilica of (Bd Rémi Sempé), and which will be placed in the garden of meditation (opposite the Grotto).
Made of Carrara marble, the impressive statue of “Bernadette in ecstasy” is a 1925 work by sculptor Firmin Michelet.
After years subjected to bad weather, the statue of Bernadette was in need of serious renovation to restore the work to its original splendour. The artist from Tarbes has wonderfully represented the expression of ecstasy on Bernadette’s face and eyes. In the garden of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, facing the Grotto, it immortalises the 11th apparition of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous.
That day, thousands of people were present. The Virgin Mary remained silent. Only Bernadette saw at her.
Candles and prayer intentions for peace
At 12:30 p.m., there will be prayer for peace in all countries at war. To symbolise this prayer, the Sanctuary will light a large candle, which will remain lit throughout the day. You can join us in asking to light a candle for peace or for your special intentions. Your candles will be lit in the chapels throughout the day.
We will experience this exceptional day of prayer and thanksgiving in communion with one another. Join us by sending in your prayer intentions…
After the Little Singers, we will all be able to pray together during the Marian torchlight procession, with the Sanctuary illuminated, as you have never seen it before!
This beautiful day of virtual prayer with Bernadette will end with the night mass at 10:30 p.m. at the Grotto.