Bishop Denis Nulty is leading the inaugural Kildare & Leighlin diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes this week.
The pilgrimage departed on Sunday 16 July with 1200 pilgrims from across the diocese and includes a dedicated assisted section for the sick.
The director of the pilgrimage is Portlaoise Curate Father Paddy Byrne.
Lourdes, a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees, rose to prominence in 1858 due to the Marian apparitions seen by Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized. Today, Lourdes hosts around six million visitors every year from all corners of the world. This constant stream of pilgrims and tourists has transformed Lourdes into the second most important centre of tourism in France, second only to Paris, and the third most important site of international Catholic pilgrimage after Rome and the Holy Land.
You can follow the Kildare and Leighlin pilgrimage on www.kandle.ie and on Twitter @kandlei.