Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, will lead this year’s Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, which will take place from Monday 12 – Saturday 17 September.
The annual Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes is now in its 68th year, the first pilgrimage having taken place in 1948. More than 350 pilgrims will be traveling from the diocese to Lourdes, including over 160 sick pilgrims, and 170 volunteer workers, nurses, doctors, handmaids, and brancardiers. The sick will be accommodated in Accueil Notre Dame.
The pilgrimage will include young people from the Meath Diocesan youth group and students from Belvedere College. Music on the pilgrimage will be lead provided by the Kilmessan parish choir.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, all pilgrims to Lourdes will have the special opportunity to enter through the Door of Mercy which is located at Saint Michael’s gate, near the Breton Cross in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.
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.