Friday, 21 September 2012

Bantry Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes

On the 2nd of September I arrived in Lourdes for the first time. Anybody who has been there will know that those who are sick or infirm are the most important people in Lourdes. When I saw people in wheelchairs & in stretchers & indeed people who have other needs there it really reminded me of how lucky I am. In my lazier moments there I did think to myself wouldn’t it be great to be pushed around the place, especially on a hot day, but you wouldn’t be long realising how selfish a thought that is because people in those wheelchairs & stretchers would give anything for the freedom I have of being able to go everywhere myself. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they could, like Jesus said to the paralytic, pick up their stretchers and walk. During the time in Lourdes you will hear the story of St. Bernadette many times. At the time of the apparition in Lourdes St. Bernadette and her family were among the poorest of the poor. 

Our Lady has appeared to people that weren’t considered important. St. Bernadette was a child of a very poor family, Our Lady appeared in Knock to people who in 1879 were on the verge of a famine and involved in a bitter Land War, she appeared in Fatima in 1917 to children who should only have been seen and not heard and in recent years many people go to Medjugorge to pray to Our Lady in a country that has a very tragic history right up until the 1990’s. We might like to think that we are the people that should be listened to but in Lourdes, Knock, Fatima and other places, Our Lady is telling us otherwise.                                                                                                       

Fr. Anthony

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