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The relics of Saint Bernadette, whose visions of Our Lady are closely associated with the French shrine at Lourdes, journeyed on pilgrimage in England, Scotland and Wales in September and October 2022.

You can find out more about the tour here

Over several months in 1858 Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, a fourteen-year-old peasant girl, eighteen times, identifying herself for the first time as the Immaculate Conception during the sixteenth appearance.

Bernadette had little education and when she tried to explain what happened to her many were sceptical. During one of the apparitions, though, Mary instructed Bernadette to start digging in the ground and drink from the spring that would appear. People became concerned as the young girl began digging and drinking muddy water, but soon, a miraculous spring came forth.

Mary asked that a church be built at the grotto, which became a place of healing of the sick and pilgrimage. Following the apparitions, Saint Bernadette became a member of the Sisters of Charity and died in 1879. She was canonised as a saint of the Church by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The shrine at Lourdes remains a place of pilgrimage and healing today.

Prayer inspired by the relic tour

Faithful God,
in this world of sorrow and strife,
pour out your healing grace on us all.

Inspired by the example of your servant, Bernadette,
may we bear witness to your love
and strive always to answer your call.

Fill us with joy as we listen to your word.
Lead us to the dazzling light of your truth
and grant us the courage to speak up 
for all that is right.

Open our hearts to be transformed by each new encounter
and guide us to walk humbly 
beside our sisters and brothers,
who are all wonderfully made in your image.

Renew in us a desire to build a world
filled with love in action,
so that hope springs forth like a stream,
washing away pain, poverty and fear.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

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