This week we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. When Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette, she called people to her to bathe in the water, to say they were sorry and find healing. Today millions of people visit Lourdes looking for the same peace and healing in their lives. That healing is not always physical, sometimes it can be mental or emotional too and as we celebrate this beautiful feast let us think about the things that we need healing and how we bring healing to others.
Here are some songs for you to enjoy! The first tells the story of Bernadette when she was visited by Mary. The second is a very popular song that is heard many times in Lourdes and the third shows the joy that people can experience whilst on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
This next song is a popular song in a special place called Lourdes.
Lourdes is a town in the South of France where, in 1858, Mary the Mother of God appeared to a young girl called Bernadette.
Bernadette told the people of Lourdes that she had seen Mary but they didn’t believe her at first. She told them that Mary had asked for a Chapel to be built nearby and that Mary said they should drink from the water of the spring that was there. Eventually they believed her and Bernadette became a Saint in 1933.
Lourdes is now a special place of Pilgrimage. Every year about 5 million people travel from all over the world to visit the grotto where Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette and to drink the water and wash in it. Many people have been cured by bathing in the water. Instead of just a Chapel there are now many churches built near where Mary appeared, one is so big it can fit 25,000 people inside!
This song is called Come to the water. The words encourage anyone and everyone to come and visit the water in Lourdes. It talks about those people who are poor, weary, thirsty and have big burdens to carry and tells them that they do not need to worry about these things if they trust in God and come to Him.
Listen to the song and think about the story of Lourdes.
Would you have been brave, like St Bernadette, and tell everyone what you saw?
Do you follow what you have been asked to do even if it is a big job?
Would you like to go to visit Lourdes?
Many people travel on pilgrimages to special places but the pilgrimage is more than just visiting a special place.
All of the people in this picture have pilgrimaged to Lourdes. People come for many reasons, but one of the main reasons is to be healed, both physically and mentally. Sometimes people can become sad and need help to see things in a new, loving way!
A pilgrimage is a journey. The pilgrimage begins when the pilgrim begins to plan for their pilgrimage, to pack their bags, to make their sandwiches and when they start to travel to the special place.
Today you are going to go on a journey!
Work with your family to plan a route around your garden, house or local area for your journey. If you are going to go on a journey in your local area, you must be accompanied by an adult.
Is there a special place where you would like your journey to finish? You could finish your journey with some time to pray together, just as pilgrims would at their special place.
What will you find at your special place? Candles, cushions, calm music, flowers, trees, grass, a bench?
If you are staying in your house or garden, perhaps you could set up your final place before you start, like you would a prayer focus in school. If you are journeying around your local area, perhaps you could pop some candles and cloth into a rucksack and set up your special place once you get there?
As you make your journey you will have the time to reflect and think about what the journey means to you.
Think about these questions:
Is there something in your life that you need to say sorry for?
Do you need more peace and calm in your life?
Is there something big in your life that you need help with?
Are you happy with how you live your life?
Is there someone that you need to help?
Do you say thank you to God and to others enough?
Are you inspired by the things you see on your journey?
As you make your journey remember these reassuring words when you do not know where to go:
If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.”
When you end your journey gather together in your special place and talk to God about the things that you thought about on your journey.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to journey closer to you.
Help us to find what we need on our journey throughout our lives.
Help us to remember that you are always with us wherever we go.
This week’s scripture is the story of when Jesus went to the Temple.
Read the Scripture story or watch the video.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they went to the festival as usual.When the festival was over, they started back home, but the boy Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. His parents did not know this; they thought that he was with the group, so they travelled a whole day and then started looking for him among their relatives and friends.They did not find him, so they went back to Jerusalem looking for him. On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.”
He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand his answer.
So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favour with God and people.
The Gospel of the Lord.
In this piece of scripture we can see how important the Temple is to Jesus. It was His Father’s house, God’s house, and therefore He had to be there to spend time with Him.
There are many places that will be special to us, our homes, places we have visited, and places we go to spend time with others.
Think about the places that are special to you.
Think about the places where you feel close to God.
It is important that we spend time with God because, just like all of our friends, we need to spend time with God and talk to Him.
Please help us Lord to always make time and space for you in our lives so that we may be better friends.