Joy, tears and healing were the three words Cardinal Vincent used to describe our 2018 pilgrimage to Lourdes, as we brought our week to an end with a busy day.
The pilgrims gathered for three events on the fifth and final day, starting with Mass in the Grotto before our diocese led the Blessed Sacrament procession in the afternoon, and the pilgrimage officially came to a close in the evening with a ceremony and lighting of our diocesan candle.
The morning Mass was celebrated under glorious mid-morning sun and, having heard the Gospel of the wedding at Cana, Cardinal Vincent preached on these three words of joy, tears and healing. We were also reminded, once more, to come before Mary in prayer: 'We learn in the Gospel today,' said Cardinal Vincent, 'that Jesus is unable to resist the word of his Mother, so she will take our petitions to him and he will certainly grant all that his Mother asks.'
Unfortunately, due to the hot weather, the afternoon Blessed Sacrament procession was restricted to only the Underground Basilica; however the true sense of the procession was not lost. In processing we see many things about our faith, with many opportunities to pray.
We saw that Jesus walks with us, that he is always accompanying us, especially in our sufferings and illness’. Our prayer in front of Christ was a prayer of love, a public expression of our love of Jesus Christ, and a thanksgiving prayer for the love that Jesus Christ has for us.
Then came the evening. Our Diocesan candle was lit, amid a twinkling array of others, carrying with it all our prayers for family, friends and every member of our diocese.
Lighting the candle was a most fitting end, for in praying in this way we leave our prayer with the Virgin Mary and God as we enter back into our every day lives.
Once again, all the photos taken during the day are on Flickr.
Having finished celebrating Mass in the Grotto, Cardinal Vincent collected some thoughts on our Pilgrimage to Lourdes.
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