As the anniversary of the 18th and last apparition of the Virgin Mary draws closer, the Shrine of Lourdes announces that it is set to virtually host a pilgrimage for the whole world, on July 16, live from the Grotto of the Apparitions.
This day will bring together millions of people from all continents, through television, radio and social networks, under the sign of hope and solidarity. The program will run for 15 hours and will be available in ten languages, via the link www.lourdes-france.org.
On this day, the agenda of the broadcasts will be filled with celebrations, processions, rosaries, and prayers. A new TV program will also take place live from 4pm to 6pm at the Grotto.
Religious and civil personalities will follow one another on the set, testifying on the role of Lourdes in their lives. The cameras will go behind the scenes of this unique place to better explain its mission. Numerous interventions on the themes of solidarity, fraternity, commitment, entraide, hope and the search for meaning, as well as reports, archive videos, live music, duplexes with foreigners and other highlights will complete the 2 hours of live coverage.
Lourdes, an international pilgrimage center, mobilizes nearly 100,000 volunteers to welcome 3 million pilgrims and visitors from all over the world each year, including more than 50,000 sick and disabled people. Multi-generational and multi-cultural, the “Lourdes United” global e-pilgrimage will bring everyone from the four corners of the world to see Lourdes as a beacon of faith, commitment and hope during this unprecedented time. The fraternity and generosity that the Shrine has been carrying for 162 years has never been so essential. At Lourdes, the poor, the frail, the sick and the handicapped have a special place.
The chaplains of the Shrine of Lourdes have always brought prayer for and with the world to the Grotto, and even more so during the global crisis we are experiencing. Thousands of messages and cries of suffering, but there are still also testimonies of inspiration that continue to reach Lourdes, from the hearts beating with prayers.
Closed for more than two months, it is the first time in its history that the Shrine had to cancel all pilgrimages. In spite of its partial reopening, the Shrine can only welcome a limited number of pilgrims, to follow strict sanitary protocols.
Without the pilgrims, Lourdes does not have enough resources to carry out its mission, to maintain the entire site, to guarantee its durability, that then displaced 320 employees. In addition, the whole of the Lourdes catchment area is in immense difficulty. Brought by this unprecedented situation, the Sanctuary is expecting a historic loss of 8 million euros.
As the world needs more hope, the world also needs Lourdes. Your participation, donation and generosity when you participate in this special e-pilgrimage, “Lourdes United” will go a long way.
For more details, visit www.lourdes-france.org