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Our Lady of Lourdes
Optional Memorial
February 11th


Traditional prayer card, unknown artist

" I am the Immaculate Conception"

History | Readings | Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes | Lourdes Hymn
Homily of Pope John Paul II at Lourdes, August 15, 2004 |
Plenary Indulgence for the 150TH Anniversary of Lourdes [2008]

History of Our Lady of Lourdes

The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France is the most visited pilgrimage site in the world -- principally because of the apparent healing properties of the waters of the spring that appeared during the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux.

The first apparition occurred February 11, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place July 16, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy during these apparitions, as was witnessed by the hundreds who attended the later visions, though no one except Bernadette ever saw or heard the apparition.

The mysterious vision Bernadette saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle, where she and friends had gone to gather firewood, was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. She described the Lady as clothed in white, with a blue ribbon sash and a Rosary hanging from her right arm. Now and then the apparition spoke to Bernadette.

One day, the Lady told the girl to drink of a mysterious fountain within the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign. But Bernadette scratched at the ground, and a spring immediately bubbled up and soon gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. The priest said he would not believe it unless the apparition gave Bernadette her name. After another apparition, Bernadette reported that the Lady told her, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Though the girl was unfamiliar with the term, the Pope had declared the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary in 1854.

Four years after Bernadette's visions, in 1862, the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition" of Our Lady. A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on February 11.

(Various sources; principal source - Catholic Encyclopedia - 1913 edition)



Collect and Readings - Our Lady of Lourdes

Collect:
Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness,
that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God,
may, with the help of her intercession,
rise up from our iniquities.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14
"Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory."

For thus says the Lord: "Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the Lord is with His servants, and His indignation is against His enemies.

Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with His disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with Me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of His signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes

Lord have mercy; Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy;
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy;
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us;
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven;
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world;
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit;
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God;
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary;
Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God;
Pray for us.
Mother of Christ;
Pray for us.
Mother of our Savior;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering;
Pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying;
Pray for us.
Queen of heaven;
Pray for us.
Queen of peace;
Pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Spare us O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world;
Have mercy on us.
Christ hear us;
Christ graciously hear us.
Let us pray:
Grant us, your servants, we pray you, Lord God, to enjoy perpetual health of mind and body. By the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may we be delivered from present sorrows, and enjoy everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Immaculate Mary - Lourdes Hymn

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing;
Who reignest in splendor with Jesus our King:

Ave, ave, ava Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

In heaven the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth, we, thy children, invoke your sweet name.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

Thy name is our power, thy virtues our light,
Thy love is our comfort, thy pleading our might.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth;
And bless, Holy Mary, the land of our birth.

Ave, ave, ave Maria.
Ave, ave Maria.

(Text - anonymous. Melody - Traditional French with refrain: Lourdes.)


PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF LOURDES

VATICAN CITY, DEC 5, 2007 (VIS) - According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant the faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes. 

"The forthcoming 150th anniversary of the day in which Mary Most Holy, revealing herself as the Immaculate Conception to Bernadette Soubirous, wished a shrine to be erected and venerated in the place known as 'Massabielle' in the town of Lourdes," the decree reads, "calls to mind the innumerable series of prodigies through which the supernatural life of souls and the health of bodies has drawn great advantage from the omnipotent goodness of God."

"Indeed, by venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary in the place 'upon which her feet trod,' the faithful draw nourishment from the Holy Sacraments, expressing the firm intention to lead in the future Christian lives of increasing faithfulness" and they "achieve a vivid vivid perception of the significance of the Church. ... Indeed the succession, over time, of marvelous events ... enables us to glimpse the joint operation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Church: in the year 1854 the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was defined," and "in the year 1858 Mary Most Holy showed herself to ... Bernadette Soubirous using the words of the dogmatic definition: 'I am the Immaculate Conception.'

"In order to draw increased fruits of renewed sanctity from this holy anniversary," the decree adds, "the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decided to concede the gift of Plenary Indulgence" to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Holy Father), in the following way:

A) "If between December 8, 2007 and December 8, 2008 they visit, preferably in the order suggested: (1) the parish baptistery used for the Baptism of Bernadette, (2) the Soubirous family home, known as the 'cachot,' (3) the Grotto of Massabielle, (4) the chapel of the hospice where Bernadette received First Communion, and on each occasion they pause for an appropriate length of time in prayer and with pious meditations, concluding with the recital of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith, ... and the jubilee prayer or other Marian invocation."

B) "If between February 2, 2008 ... and February 11, 2008, Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes and 150th anniversary of the apparition, they visit, in any church, grotto or decorous place, the blessed image of that same Virgin of Lourdes, solemnly exposed for public veneration, and before the image participate in a pious exercise of Marian devotion, or at least pause for an appropriate space of time in prayer and with pious meditations, concluding with the recital of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith, ... and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary."

The decree concludes by recalling that faithful who "through sickness, old age or other legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain the Plenary Indulgence ... if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, on the days February 2 to 11, 2008, in their hearts they spiritually visit the above-mentioned places and recite those prayers, trustingly offering to God, through Mary, the sickness and discomforts of their lives."

PENT/DECREE INDULGENCES/STAFFORD                         VIS 071205 (600)


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