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‘We hope that the lessons, insights, grace, and the understanding we received this week will stay with us in this task of building up the Church day by day. We thank Mary, Mother of the Church, for guiding us, gathering us, for nurturing us and sending us home, refreshed for action, with the words “build my Church”.’

These were the words of Cardinal Vincent this morning at the last shared liturgy of this pilgrimage. Gathered in the Côté Grotte, with the sun flooding through the doors, the Cardinal brought together the whole pilgrimage through this year’s theme: build me a chapel.

At the end of Mass, after many thanks we made to all those who make such an incredible week possible, we processed past the Grotto with our Westminster Diocese Lourdes candle.

In the lighting of this candle, we leave with our Lady all our prayers and petitions, knowing that this candle will continue burning long after we’ve all returned home.

The afternoon was an opportunity for each pilgrim to make their own final visits around the town, before heading off via train, plane and coach tomorrow morning. No doubt there will be mixed feelings as we depart; however, what is certain is that we have all been nourished by God this week.

Please pray that the many graces that have been received in Lourdes this year, especially among the young people, may now be brought back to our homes, parishes and communities.

More photos from the last day of the pilgrimage are available to enjoy here.