The third Mass of our Lourdes pilgrimage ended under a shower of rain, though it was in no way enough to dampen the spirits of our pilgrims!
As is an annual tradition, the Mass took place at the open-air Cité Saint Pierre, which is also known as the Cathedral in the Trees, and was celebrated by Bishop John.
Earlier in the day everyone had made their way to the Rosary Basilica for our official group photograph. From there many of us made our way to the baths where there was the opportunity to partake in the gesture of washing ourselves with the water from the miraculous spring of St Bernadette.
After lunch we travelled up for Mass in the surrounding hills, which challenged our Redcaps to offer themselves in service to those who need wheelchairs. It was a touching sight to see that on the most steep slope three young people would come together to assist each pilgrim up the hill.
As the rain began to fall, Bishop John shortened his homily (the full version is available here), but not before he was able to convey a beautiful message about the fiat of the Blessed Virgin Mary in connection to the beautiful creation that surrounded us.
‘Mary is the mother who says ‘yes’ and brings this about like any mother; she is the Queen of All Creation which is made new in Christ. In this new creation, there will be a new heaven and a new earth. All things will reach their fulfillment and give glory to God in joy and praise,’ he said.
As the rain intensified we were forced to make a rather rushed, though careful, exit from Mass, and once more the Redcaps showed how the love of Christ is working in them through their service and diligence.
Tomorrow we continue our pilgrimage with Mass accompanied with the anointing of the sick, an excursion to Gavarnie, and a penitential celebration in the evening. Suffusing all of these activities are our regular trips to the Grotto and other places of peace and quiet where we continue to nurture our relationship with the Lord, and pray for all of our loved ones.