Gallery: 2023 Order of Malta International Pilgrimage to Lourdes
The Order of Malta’s 65th international pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France, was led by Grand Master Fra’ John Dunlap, in his first official engagement after his very recent election by the Council Complete of State. Many of the Capitulars travelled to Lourdes directly from Rome.
This year the number of participants has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, with over 6,000 participants, including sick people, members, volunteers – a clear sign of faith and hope. The pilgrims consisted of 41 different nationalities, with a large participation from the Far East, in particular from Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. Pilgrims and sick people are also arriving from South America and Africa, and of course from Europe. The largest groups came from France (1,300), Italy (1,200) and the USA (1,000).
Of the 6,000 participants, there were 1,077 sick people, of whom 201 are children under the age of 12; 191 priests, 14 deacons, 878 pilgrims, 228 doctors, 135 nurses.
Sunday’s Pontifical Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the Pope’s Special Delegate for the Order of Malta. The Marian pilgrimage was attended, in addition to the Grand Master, by members of the Sovereign Council and the Prelate, Monsignor Jean Laffitte.