July 8 2020
CLOSED for more than two months for the first time in its history, the Shrine of Lourdes has had all its pilgrimages cancelled. In spite of its partial reopening, the Shrine can only welcome a very limited number of pilgrims, according to a strict sanitary protocol.
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 pandemic crisis we are experiencing. Hundreds of thousands of messages, cries for help, cries of suffering, but also testimonies of hope continue to reach Lourdes.
A time of reunion, hope and solidarity to reconnect with the spirit of Lourdes
Lourdes, an international pilgrimage centre, mobilizes nearly 100,000 volunteers to welcome three million pilgrims and visitors from all over the world each year, including more than 50,000 sick and disabled people. At Lourdes, the poor, the frail, the sick and the handicapped have first place.
The world is facing an unprecedented economic and social crisis, coupled with an unprecedented quest for meaning. The fraternity, generosity and hope that the Shrine has been carrying for 162 years has never been so essential.
The “Lourdes United” e-pilgrimage, a multi-generational and multi-cultural initiative, will bring together all those who, in the four corners of the world, see Lourdes as a beacon of faith, commitment, sharing and hope. “Lourdes United” e-pilgrimage is an unprecedented initiative in response to an unprecedented situation.
On July 16, the anniversary of the 18th and last apparition of the Virgin Mary, the Shrine of Lourdes will host the exceptional e-pilgrimage for the whole world, which will take place live from the Grotto of the Apparitions.
This extraordinary day will bring together millions of people from all continents, through television, radio and social networks, under the sign of hope and solidarity. The broadcasting of the celebrations and processions will be live streamed in 10 languages.
Numerous interventions on the themes of solidarity, fraternity, commitment, aid, hope and the search for meaning, as well as reports, archive videos, live music, duplexes with foreigners and other highlights will complete these two hours of live coverage.
Also on the agenda from 7am-22pm (France) are broadcasts of the celebrations, processions, rosaries, prayers. A new TV program will take place live from 4pm to 6pm at the Grotto. Religious and civil personalities will follow one another on the set, testifying to the role that Lourdes plays in their lives. The cameras will go behind the scenes of this unique place to better explain its mission.
Lourdes United in the face of the crisis
Lourdes without pilgrims is a Lourdes without resources to carry out its mission, to maintain the entire site, to guarantee its durability and the jobs of its 320 employees. The Sanctuary expects a historic loss of 8 million euros.