Bishop Smith leads the 69th diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes

24 Mar, 2017 | News

Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, will lead this year’s Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, which will take place from 12 to 17 September next.

The annual Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes is now in its 69th year, the first pilgrimage having taken place in 1948. Sick pilgrims requiring assistance will have special accommodation with medical supervision in the Accueil Notre Dame. There will also be a youth section provided for those aged 18–30.

Last year, almost 1,000 pilgrims from the Diocese of Meath traveled to the Marian Shrine in Lourdes, including over 160 sick pilgrims, and 170 volunteer workers, nurses, doctors, handmaids, and brancardiers as well as local priests, and members of the diocesan youth group.

Lourdes, a small market town lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees, received world prominence in 1858 due to the Marian apparitions seen by the then fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized. Today, Lourdes hosts around six million visitors every year from all corners of the globe. It is the most popular pilgrimage site for Irish people outside our country and its ongoing popularity 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.

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