Pope Holds Mass for 150,000 at Lourdes On 150th Anniversary of Apparitions
Pope Benedict XVI traveled to Lourdes France this weekend to celebrete the 150th Anniversary of the apparitions of Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated an open-air mass in the French town of Lourdes, leading more than 150,000 faithful in prayer at one of the most revered Roman Catholic shrines. The mass marked the 150th anniverary of the Vatican-recognised apparitions of the Virgin Mary to a French peasant. (AFP)
Pope Benedict XVI celebrated an open-air mass in the French town of Lourdes on Sunday, leading more than 150,000 faithful in prayer at one of the most revered Roman Catholic shrines.
The mass marked the 150th anniversary of the Vatican-recognised apparitions of the Virgin Mary to a French peasant girl in a grotto that now draws millions of pilgrims.
Under clear skies, the pontiff spoke from a white podium set up on a sprawling field near the grotto where Mary is said to have appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
“There is a love in this world that is stronger than death, stronger than our weaknesses and sins. The power of love is stronger than the evil which threatens us,” he said.
The 81-year-old pontiff joined 230 bishops dressed in red flowing robes and mitres in the southwestern town, on the third day of his visit to France.
Saint Bernadette, born Marie-Bernarde Soubirous, was a miller’s daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. From February 11 to July 16, 1858, she reported eighteen apparitions of “a Lady.” Despite initial skepticism from the Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as Our Lady of Lourdes. After her death, Bernadette’s body remained incorrupt, and the shrine at Lourdes went on to become a major site for pilgrimage, attracting millions of Catholics each year –Wiki.
Da Mihi Animus has more on the pope’s visit to France this weekend.