The British Province of Carmelites makes an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, the famous Marian shrine in the French Pyrenees.
In 1858 the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, appeared 18 times to Bernadette Soubirous, a peasant girl in the French town of Lourdes. Today Lourdes is a major centre of prayer attracting some 6 million pilgrims a year. Among those are a number of Carmelite pilgrimages.
There are strong resonances between Carmelite spirituality and what is termed the 'message of Lourdes', which is essentially an echoing of the Gospel message of God's love for humanity. The final apparition of Mary to Saint Bernadette took place on 16th July, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, when Bernadette said that Our Lady "was more beautiful than ever". Today a monastery of Carmelite nuns stands on the spot where Bernadette prayed that day. To read an article (in PDF format) linking Carmelite spirituality with the message of Lourdes, please click here. To watch a video presentation about the spiritual links between Carmel and Lourdes click here.
In 2015 the Carmelites will again be joining the Catholic Association pilgrimage to Lourdes between 21st and 28th August. Details will be available from February 2015.
Future pilgrimage dates (subject to confirmation by the Catholic Association) are:
- 21-28 August 2015
- 19-26 August 2016
- 18-25 August 2017
- 24-31 August 2018
Regular pilgrimages to Lourdes are also run by other provinces of the Order, most notably the Irish Province of Carmelites.
You can read about previous Province pilgrimages to Lourdes in our Lourdes archive by clicking here.