Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us

I had the great joy of visiting Lourdes in 1989, and then again in 2007.

Anglicans often try to compare Lourdes and Walsingham; but I think that is wrong. Each of Our Lady's shrines has its own particular charism, its own emphasis, and its unique ministry. I do believe that God has graced the shrine at Lourdes in a special way, and, through the intercession of the Our Lady, millions who have prayed in that holy place over the last 156 years have experienced the healing power of Jesus and the refreshing of the Holy Spirit ("the rivers of living water"). Hebrews 11:6 says that God rewards those who seek him. To go on prayerful pilgrimage to this place that he has particularly graced (or other places like it) enables us to be open to his love, and as a result we experience a spiritual renewal or receive some other precious gift from him.

If you are ever in France, you MUST visit Lourdes. You can get there on an overnight train from Paris. As well as accommodation for the well-healed, the town has some very basic and cheap places to stay if you are on a shoestring budget. It's good to book in for for two or three days and join in the pilgrimage devotions. Read, pray, stroll around. You will be blessed.

Scroll down, and after the photographs there is the homily preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Society of Mary Lourdes Pilgimage in 2008.

Archbishop Rowan Williams' homily at Lourdes, 2008 [PART 1]: 

Archbishop Rowan Williams' homily at Lourdes, 2008 [PART 2]:


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