Grotto Mass

Theme: Good News to the Poor- The Kingdom of God is Near You

To gather for Mass at the Grotto is always a most privileged moment on our pilgrimage. We do so with our own Bishops, with Bishops Terence Drainey and Peter Brignall and their respective dioceses of Middlesborough and Wrexham and other English speaking pilgrims.

Today is the Feast Day in England of St Augustine of Canterbury who in 597 AD was sent by Pope St Gregory the Great to evangelise the people of the British Isles. This is an important Feast recalling the many years of faith which is part of our national heritage. It can also be a renewed call to evangelise our country anew today.

To be at the Grotto at Lourdes surrounded by people of faith is such a different experience from our living out of the life of faith at home in England. So let us draw strength from this celebration, under the watchful gaze of Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, and gathered around the altar of God, to draw strength for the mission to which God calls us.

Photo Gallery Grotto Mass

Day 2 Lourdes - Grotto Mass

Holy Hour and Anointing

The Anointing of the Sick is one of the Seven Sacraments, seven signs of God's power and love in our lives.

It is given by the Church, through the ministry of priests, to those who are sick in mind or body, a serious sickness or the increased frailty of advanced age.

It is a Sacrament that can be given more than once, but its value is seen in a special way when those who are seriously ill are surrounded by the prayerful support of the Church, the People of God.

Lourdes is a place of healing. Lourdes is a place that welcomes those who are sick. In a special way. So it is a particular privilege for us to witness this Sacrament in such a place of healing, just as we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation which is a Sacrament of healing too.

The Sacrament is given through prayer, the laying on of hands and the anointing on the forehead and the palms of the hands with the Oil of the Sick. The prayer assures those who are sick of the loving concern and the intercession of their brothers and sisters; the laying on of hands is a sign of the calling down of the Holy Spirit; the anointing is a sign of the healing and strength that God gives through human signs and nature's gifts.

We celebrate the Anointing of the Sick in the context of a Holy Hour. We gather in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament - the Body of Christ in the Monstrance on the Altar. As we adore Christ present among us, we show reverence to the Body of Christ which we so often receive in Holy Communion, but we witness to the abiding presence of Christ.

Our actions of genuflecting or reverently bowing remind us that to be in Christ's presence in this way is a profound moment where we touch the life of heaven, and the power of God touches our hearts and our lives.

During the Holy Hour, we offer our praises in song, we listen to the word of God proclaimed, and we spend some moments in silent reflection, as we try to remember that all our concerns, all of our troubles, all of life's pre-occupations are offered up in awe and wonder to the God who heals, who transforms, who leads us to heaven.

Photo Gallery Holy Hour

Day 2 Lourdes - Holy Hour

Photo Gallery Accueil and Candlelight Procession

Day 2 Lourdes - Accueil and Procession

Listen: Audio Interviews

Tamzyn, Libby and Melissa, Student Nurses

Leo Rudd