Lourdes is ‘a place apart’. Without doubt a place of prayer but also of peace and consolation, where the pilgrim can pour out their troubles, worries, anxieties in wordless conversation with Our Lady. A place where the pilgrim may hear God speak to them in their hearts. A place, in the first instance of Our Lady, quietly showing the way to her Son.
Lourdes is situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees in S W France. The story begins with a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, the eldest of nine children. In 1858, Our Lady first appeared to Bernadette in the cave of Massabielle on February 11th of that year. She was to appear a further 17 times. Each year the Sanctuary chooses a theme to help us focus on the Lourdes message and what it can mean for our lives. The theme for 2011 is, 'Praying the Our Father'. This theme provides much food for thought since it is a call to each one of us and is nothing less than an invitation to enter into the life of the Trinity itself.