Annual 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 dates for Lourdes Pilgrimage in 2021 are:
• Arrival at Lourdes Lunch time 29 April 2021
• Departure from Lourdes anytime on 4 May 2021
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.
Central to the Pilgrimage is receiving various Sacraments; praying at the Grotto and the many 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!”
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