My Thoughts 09/02/2022

After I did my O levels, my parents paid for me to go to Lourdes. Once there I signed up to help those who stayed in the hospital taking them down to the Grotto and Mass each day. I soon understood that the most important pilgrims, were those who were sick and disabled. They took priority.

The following year I started going at Easter with HCPT Pilgrimage Trust which brings children with disability to Lourdes. I have been to Lourdes most years since then.

This Friday, 11th February, is the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and is the day in 1858 when Bernadette Soubirous, a 14 year old girl first saw a beautiful lady at the grotto known as de Massabielle, who she later came to know as The Immaculate Conception.

Lourdes and the Grotto is a special place of prayer and healing. Thousands who come, experience great changes in their lives. All forms of healing take place. There have been miraculous healings that have been authenticated by the Medical bureaux.

There is the opportunity for pilgrims to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Mass is celebrated on the hour every hour somewhere in the Domaine. Every afternoon the Blessed Sacrament is processed among the waiting sick.

In my many years going to Lourdes, what has affected me is the experience of travelling with others as pilgrims, being taught so much by those I went with especially the children and young people.

I have grown in my understanding and love of Mother Mary who is continually showing us the centrality of gospel and having love and care for those who are sick.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest