Annual Lourdes Day Mass fills St Patrick’s Cathedral
Tuesday 8 December 2015
Article from: Media and Communications Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
ON SATURDAY, 5 December, a full St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne joined the celebration of the Lourdes Day Mass. The Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Denis Hart, along with Auxiliary Bishop Terry Curtin and four other priests.
The Lourdes Day mass is an important event for the Order of Malta which organises the occasion every year. Members of the Order attended in their mantles or robes.
The Order of Malta, founded in the 11century, has as its principle the defence of the Catholic faith and the care of the poor and suffering. It has a close association with Lourdes, where members of the Order can be seen assisting the sick seeking cure there.
In this spirit it organises the Mass here in Melbourne. Assisted by young volunteers from Newman College, Loreto, Genazzano, De La Salle and Xavier colleges, the Order arranges the distribution of water from the spring at Lourdes and rosary beads to all those attending the Mass.
This year the entrance hymn was the well-known Lourdes hymn, “Immaculate Mary” with the refrain “Ave, ave, ave Maria”. The gospel reading was taken from Matthew Chapter 12, where Jesus invited each one to be his brethren ‘who does the will of (the) Father in heaven’.
His Grace spoke of faith evidenced by pilgrimage to Lourdes and Our Lady’s intercession in God’s mercy. He reminded us of the forthcoming Jubilee of Mercy. He concluded, “With the mercy of Jesus, the light that darkness can never overpower, and the prayers of Our Lady, we can go forward with confidence knowing that we have come to the throne of grace and found mercy when we have need of it.”
The liturgy concluded with the beloved hymn, “Hail, Queen of Heaven”. His Grace then sprinkled the congregation with Lourdes water.
At the conclusion of mass the celebrants were available in the forecourt to all those attending who sought individual blessings.
The Order of Malta believes the Lourdes Day mass is an important part of its mission to the sick and marginalised. It will in the forthcoming year, as it has always, take Lourdes water to hospices and homes around Melbourne to distribute at Masses, especially to those who through illness or infirmity were not able to attend the wonderful occasion at the Cathedral.
Text: Geoffrey Horgan
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