We started out this morning touring the old part of Lourdes. We visited several houses where Bernadette and her family lived in Lourdes. Her family was very poor and because the did not have much, learning to read and write were out of the question. Bernadette also suffered from various illnesses early in her life. She was blessed, however, "being raised in a family whose greatest riches were their faith." Bernadette would one day write of being chosen to carry to important message to the world, "I was nothing, and of this nothing God made something great. In Holy Communion I am heart to heart with Jesus. How sublime is my destiny." Several of the pilgrims took the opportunity to bathe in the holy waters and to walk the stations of the cross.
We again celebrated Mass in the St. Anne Chapel and Father John preached a message of faith. If we knew with certainty that something was true--it wouldn't require faith. Our faith requires us to believe something without knowing the final outcome. Our faith is Jesus Christ and the promise of eternity in Heaven. Our call is let go of the anxiety that we carry with us and lean on our faith. God has a plan for us. We continue to pray for all of you that are following along with us on the journey of faith. As we contemplate this holy site where so many years ago, a little girl taught us about faith, we ask Jesus to continue to bless us and keep us safe. Before Jesus died on the cross, His last words to Mary were, "Mother, behold your son" and to John, "Son, behold your Mother." With those words, Mary became our Mother and we honor and revere her as Jesus, her Son did.
We finished out our day with a moving candlelight procession from the Grotto, through the grounds of the Shrine and ending at the Rosary Chapel. All along the procession, we recited the Rosary in many different languages and honored Mary, as Jesus asked us to day. Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God. Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.