From the rock of Massabielle, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette. Revealing herself as the one who is full of God’s grace, she called for penance and prayer. She indicated to Bernadette a spring of water and asked her to drink of it. That spring of fresh water has become one of the symbols of Lourdes: a symbol of the new life which Christ gives to all who turn to him

Pope Saint John Paul ii

23-30 August 2024

Catholics visit Lourdes for a variety of reasons; to connect with their faith, seek healing and spiritual renewal, spend time in prayer with our Blessed Mother and walk in the footsteps of Saint Bernadette. Pilgrims travel from around the world to take part in the processions, light candles, pray at the Grotto and bath in the water.

Every year our diocese travels with the Catholic Association which includes groups from the Archdiocese of Southwark, dioceses of Clifton and East Anglia and families from Stoneyhurst college.

During the last week of August, our pilgrimage departs by plane for Lourdes normally arrivng at our hotels in time for supper. Three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are provided with many pilgrims saying there is too much food! The hotels are comfortable and we are always made to feel welcome by our hosts.

The week enjoys many liturgies, as a diocese, Catholic Association group and with the thousands of other Lourdes pilgrims. These can include:

  • Mass at the Grotto where Mary appeared to Bernadette
  • The International Mass in the Underground Basillica
  • The Torchlight procession
  • The Blessed Sacrament procession
  • Opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • A day trip to the mountains
  • A (mystery!) tour of Lourdes

Our Sick Pilgrims

Lourdes can be a place of healing, sometimes this healing manefests itself physically. Alongside physical healing, Lourdes is recognised as a place where those who are sick or physically challenged can come and be placed at the heart of the day to day pilgrimage.

Within our diocesan pilgrimage with the Catholic Association, helpers are required to assist the sick pilgrims to gain the most from their pilgrimage. Some helpers will be asked to roll those in wheelchairs, whilst others will work in the  hospital.

For our pilgrimage to Lourdes all are welcome.