Order of Malta members return to Lourdes

Members of Order of Malta display the Australian flat at Lourdes (The Catholic Weekly/Order of Malta Sydney)

Australian Order of Malta members were among the first pilgrims to return to the Sanctuary of Lourdes in France, which has been closed for two years due to the pandemic. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

The 11 Australians were part of a group of 3000 pilgrims from 31 countries who converged on Lourdes for the 64th International Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady in the first weekend of May.

One of the world’s most popular pilgrimage sites, many sick people have attributed the water near the Grotto of Massabielle with healing properties at the site where Our Lady first appeared to 14-year-old St Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.

The pilgrims from the Order of Malta spent five days at Lourdes and came together for a Pontifical Mass, concelebrated by Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope’s special delegate to the Order of Malta

The Order of Malta’s Australian president James Douglas said the French pilgrimage site has long been of deep spiritual significance to members of the Order.

“A pilgrimage to Lourdes represents one of the most significant moments in the spiritual life of the Order’s members and volunteers”, Mr Douglas said.

“Members are expected to attend the Order’s pilgrimage at least once, however many find the experience so enriching that they attend annually. It is with great joy that we were able to return this year”.

The Magistral Chaplain of the Order of Malta in Australia, Fr Paul Nulley, said the pilgrimage helped reinforce to him the international nature of the organisation.

FULL STORY

To Lourdes they come (By Michael Kenny, The Catholic Weekly

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