60th Order of Malta International Pilgrimage to Lourdes
Each year, Lourdes dedicates the first weekend in May for the Annual Pilgrimage of the International Order of Malta. Over 7,000 members and volunteers from all over the world take part, including 1,600 sick and disabled pilgrims.
The pilgrimage to Lourdes represents one of the most significant moments in the spiritual life of the Order’s members and volunteers and going to Lourdes at least once is a traditional obligation for members of the Order of Malta. Every pilgrim has found Lourdes to be spiritually uplifting and a highlight in their devotion to Our Lady.
2018 marked the 160th anniversary of Our Lady’s first appearance to St Bernadette; as well as the 60th pilgrimage of the Order of Malta to Lourdes. 96 pilgrims from the Asia Pacific region participated under the Australian “banner”.
Central to the Pilgrimage is receiving various Sacraments; praying at the Grotto and the ma
ny sacred places; and importantly, being hands-on companions to the Malades (the sick and disabled).
The distance from Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and Australia makes its very difficult for these countries to transport
Malades to Lourdes. Therefore, for many years, the Australian Association have joined forces with The Irish Association to help them with their Malades. This also enables The Irish Association to bring more pilgrims to Lourdes.
Member of the Order of Adelaide and first time Lourdes Pilgrimage attendee, Noel Mifsud, was asked to write an account of his experience to share with those unable to attend. Noel’s account is not only beautifully written and engaging, it is inspiring and uplifting.
Below is an extract from Noel’s report:
“Walking the Esplanade each evening I listened to the cacophony of voices with languages from across the globe. This Pentecost moment is testimony that love needs no language. God’s love transcends borders.
There were no strangers at Lourdes – just different stories. One pilgrim reflected that Lourdes is ‘addictive’. Lives are irrevocably changed. Through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, God’s presence, a deep sacramental moment, is made manifest. As one of our priests shared in his sermon: “They will know we are Christians by our love!”
Download a copy of Noel’s full report: Lourdes2018_Reflections.compressed
Lourdes Healing Mass Celebrations in Adelaide and Brisbane
For Australians unable to visit Lourdes, Lourdes Day Mass celebrations are held annually in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide where those attending receive a blessing for good health and a bottle of Lourdes water, brought from the shrine, for their personal use.
On 5 May, coinciding with the Order’s international pilgrimage to Lourdes, was the annual Lourdes Healing Mass at Saint Paschal’s at Wavell Heights Brisbane. Over 150 parishioners, friends and visitors attended this deeply spiritual event seeking our Lords healing.
Lourdes Day Mass Celebrations at the cathedrals in Melbourne and Sydney will be held on Saturday 1 December. All are welcome to attend.
In addition to these public events, Members in Victoria also arrange Lourdes Mass celebrations throughout the year at hospices and aged care facilities.