This week we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. When Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette, she called people to her to bath in the water, to repent and find healing. Today millions of people visit Lourdes looking for the same peace and healing in their lives. There have been many miraculous healings in Lourdes over the years and we too can look for healing in our lives through faith. 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 can bring healing to others.
All SAINTS NOTICES:
The Lourdes team will be delivering speeches at St Joseph the Worker and Our lady in Kirkby this weekend, please come along and support if you can.
Chaplaincy team meeting cancelled this break-time due to leaking roof! We will re-shedule for after half-term. Get your thinking caps on for new display ideas, sadly our current ones are ruined.
Our Lady of Lourdes is one of the most popular and beloved titles of Mary, venerated in the Catholic Church and all over the world. On February 11, 1858, a young, French peasant girl named Bernadette was collecting firewood with her sister and a friend near a dumping ground in the town of Lourdes where they lived. Suddenly, Bernadette saw a beautiful maiden appear with a golden rosary, so she began praying the Rosary with the lady, not knowing who she was. The lady asked Bernadette to return to the Grotto, and after a while, she revealed herself as “the Immaculate Conception.”
Pilgrims travel to Lourdes for many reasons. Some come on pilgrimage in search of strength and guidance in times of difficulty or distress. For many sick pilgrims, Lourdes gives an opportunity to bathe in the healing waters of the spring and to find peace with their prognosis rather than to seek a miraculous cure.
Let us take a moment now to say a prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes for Healing. As we say the prayer, let us remember all of the people who pilgirmage to Lourdes to bathe in its healing waters. We remember their pain, suffering and fear.
O ever-Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted,
You know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; look with mercy on me.
We end by making the Sign of the Cross.
The History of Our Lady of Lourdes
The origins of its sanctity begin with the fourteen-year old girl called Bernadette Soubirous.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO HELP US IN OUR MISSION AS DISCIPLES.
Between February and July of 1858, Bernadette saw 18 apparitions of a lady.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO SHOW US THE WAY.
She claimed the lady was dressed in a white-robe, with a golden rosary and a blue belt fastened around her waist, and two golden roses at her feet.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO HELP US KEEP OUR FOCUS ON THE EXAMPLE OF MARY.
The peasant girl of no significant education said she heard the lady say to her, “I am the Immaculate Conception”.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO HELP US LISTEN TO HIS VOICE.
In further apparitions she was told to tell her village priest to build a chapel in the grotto, but was ridiculed by the Church.
PRAY TO ASK GOD FOR THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW HIS MESSAGE FOR US.
After a later apparition, Bernadette began to dig in the earth until a small puddle of water appeared.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO HELP US ACT ON OUR MISSION.
Over the next few days, the puddle enlarged into a pool and eventually became the sacred spring for which Lourdes is now so famous.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO FOR THE CONFIDENCE TO EVANGELISE HIS MESSAGE TO THE WORLD.
After Church investigations confirmed her visions, a large church was built at the site of Lourdes and is now a major Marian pilgrimage site.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO KEEP BLESSING LOURDES PILGRIMAGES AROUND THE WORLD.
Pilgrims today visit Lourdes for its healing qualities and bathe in the pools of water from Bernadette’s spring.
PRAY TO ASK GOD TO LOOK AFTER ALL OF THOSE WHO ARE UNWELL AND IN NEED.
There have been 69 verified miracles that have happened at Lourdes.
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT YET KNOW GOD.
Our Trust Prayer
God Our Father,
Give us strength so that, guided by Our Lady’s example,
we can have the courage to say yes to you.
Help us to love like she loves, have faith like she has
and follow Jesus’ example in all that we do.
Inspire in all of us a sense of togetherness, so that we can use
the gifts you have given us for the good of all in our community
and bring support and healing to those less fortunate than ourselves.
We ask Our Lady to guide us, just as she guided St Bernadette,
as we seek to bring Jesus’ message of love
and forgiveness to others.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us
We end with the Sign of the Cross.
We start with the Sign of the Cross.
The theme of the day is Pilgrimage!
What is Pilgrimage?
Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey, this may be to a sacred place. Pilgrimage provides the opportunity to step out of the non-stop busyness of our lives and seek a time of quiet and reflection. It gives us the chance to ‘walk through’ those issues that we have on our minds, whatever they might be. It is a time of simply ‘being’ rather than always ‘doing’.
Pilgrimage can also be a highly sociable activity, allowing us to enjoy the company of others we meet on the road. It gives us the chance re-energise mentally, physical and spiritually.
People go on pilgrimage for many reasons and you don’t have to be religious to go on pilgrimage!
Often, people go on pilgrimage when they are undergoing a change in their life’s direction. Others may be in search of a deeper spirituality, healing and forgiveness. Others may go on a pilgrimage to mark a special occasion. Pilgrimages are also a great adventure with the chance to meet new people and see new places!
Christians may seek to go on Pilgrimage to set aside time for God and feel closer to him; to search for God’s help and guidance during times of change or difficulty; to strengthen their faith or to feel inspired by the communion of saints who have gone before us and other people on a journey of Pilgrimage.
As our theme of the day is pilgrimage, we invite you to watch this video of the Nottingham to Lourdes pilgrimage from 2018- you may see some familiar faces! As you are watching the video, we invite you to think about and pray for the people in your lives who are struggling in their pilgrimage journey and are in need of our prayers.
If you are in sixth form and feel inspired to go on the Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2020, please visit your school Chaplain ASAP!
Your mission this week is to take a journey of Pilgrimage to a place of quiet that you might not usually go to and spend some time in prayer there. This may be the Chapel at School, your local Church, a quiet room in your house or a quiet location in the outdoors!
Here are some questions you might want to think about:
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.”
We end with the Sign of the Cross.
We start with the Sign of the Cross.
Today our theme of the day is Prayer and Petition. These are both huge parts of being in Lourdes, and the “Lourdes experience.”
Watch the video below and take some time to reflect. Close your eyes and be in prayer, or watch the video and contemplate.
Have a think about the following questions :
When is a time that you have turned to prayer as a last hope or resort?
How do you pray?
Do you pray formally, or do you just have a chat with God like you would with anyone else?
How do you think Bernadette would have felt when her prayers were answered in Lourdes?
Is there a petition that you would like to be taken to Lourdes or another holy place?
If you have time, get some paper and write on it any prayers or prayer intentions that you have. They can be taken to your chaplain like the video said, and they’ll all be taken to Lourdes on the pilgrimage in the summer.
Let us finish with a prayer with Mary. She had so much faith, and prayer would have been a central part of our life. We intercede with Mary as we say :
Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord be with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.