Pilgrimage has been part of the Christian tradition for centuries. From our earliest days, Christians were gathering at sacred places to honor our beloved Christian dead.
Moreover, some places began to be held sacred, as they were the site of miraculous deeds, wonderful events, which were reminders to all of the power and faithfulness of God.
In the modern world, we tend to approach the claims of the fantastic with some trepidation, even suspicion or doubt. And in some sense, rightly so. But on the other hand, when we know God has sent special graces to this or that place, we shouldn’t hesitate to visit. We should turn, even run, to such places for consolation, reflection and renewal.
Lourdes is my very favorite of such places. Home to a world-famous miraculous spring, which the Virgin Mary revealed to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, the healing waters from the grotto have aided countless pilgrims in their prayers. Known as a sanctuary of healing, the Catholic Church has approved 70 miracles, deeming these extraordinary healings to be acts of God.
Experience the Catholic wonders of France
Owing to my great love for the Virgin Mary, particularly for the Shrine at Lourdes, I am pleased to share that I’ll be leading a pilgrimage to this beloved Shrine this fall. Thanks to a new collaboration with Magnificat and Peter’s Way, I’d like to invite Aleteia readers to join me on a nine-day pilgrimage through France, September 17–25, 2022.
Our trip only begins in Lourdes. We will also visit the tombs of great saints in Paris, including Vincent de Paul, the renowned servant of the poor, and Catherine Labouré, to whom the Virgin Mary revealed the miraculous medal.
Together we will view sacred art in the Louvre, tour Mont Saint Michel (the island fortified abbey in the English Channel), visit Omaha Beach, the fabled site of the D-Day landings, pray at the Carmelite Monastery where St. Therese of Lisieux is buried, and much more. View the entire itinerary here.