Today, the pilgrims departed the hustle and bustle of Paris, and retreated to the calm and serene town of Lourdes in southern France. This is especially so because we arrive after the high pilgrimage season – so there are very few pilgrims present.
Upon our arrival, we explored the town, the Basilica, and the Grotto itself. Although it is hard to imagine the wild surroundings Bernadette experienced at the original apparition of Mary. The peaceful and holy calm of the area remains even today. It is a beautiful scene that preserves the essence of what happened over one hundred fifty years ago. (It is amazing that so accurate a replica of Our Lady of Lourdes exists in San Antonio at Oblate School of Theology.)
We ended our day with Holy Mass in St. Gabriel’s chapel and a nighttime rosary procession with lighted candles dedicated to the intentions of everyone we are praying for.
– Paul Vance, Co-Group Leader