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Pentecost: the Church is born

Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, and the birth of the Church. This event occurred fifty days after Easter. Pentecost, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit, closes the Easter season.

The birth of the Church

Pentecost celebrates the beginning of the Church, its foundation, and the emergence of the first Christian communities. Shortly after receiving the Holy Spirit and beginning to pass on Christ’s message, the apostles baptised the first Christians. But the feast also launched the Sacrament of Confirmation, where the baptised person renews the heart of his or her faith and is also invited to become a witness to Christ.

In this year when, in its annual theme, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes recalls the words of the Virgin, “Go and tell the priests to build a chapel here”, pilgrims are invited to participate in the construction of the Church, to become “living stones”.

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Lourdes and the sacraments

Lourdes is the place where millions of people come to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, a step that brings pilgrims closer to the mercy of the Lord. Almost all pilgrims who arrive in Lourdes, either individually or in groups, can visit the Reconciliation Chapel to go to confession.
When pilgrims arrive in Lourdes, they can also take part in the masses celebrated in different languages. But some pilgrims also have the opportunity to experience the sacrament of the Eucharist, and like Bernadette, to make their First Holy Communion, in this blessed place where the Virgin came to be a sign of God’s love.
During the International Military Pilgrimage, which took place from 12th to 14th May, 65 adult pilgrims were baptised, and 140 were confirmed. This celebration was the key event for the catechumens who have been journeying towards this time of grace in Lourdes.

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Holy Spirit, breathe into our hearts and let us inhale the tenderness of the Father. Breathe upon the Church, so that she may spread the Gospel with joy. Breathe upon the world the fresh restoration of hope.” (Pope Francis)

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