“Mondays with Mary” – The Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes by Pope St. John Paul II

Since this Saturday was the optional memorial for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I thought I would share with you briefly the prayer of Pope St. John Paul II to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title. This prayer was originally published on August 15, 2004.

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.

Amen.

For more catechesis on this important Marian feast, I would suggest reading the following blog posts I have written in the past – Our Lady of Lourdes“Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes and “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict XVI on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes…Pray for Us 

Saint Bernadette…Pray for Us

Our Lady of Lourdes

Today is the optional memorial for Our Lady of Lourdes. It was on this day that the Our Lady first appeared to the fourteen year-old, St. Bernadette Soubirous. Overall, there were eighteen appearances to St. Bernadette. The very last one was on July 18, 1858. The general message of Lourdes is the call to repentance (conversion), prayer, and charity. 

Below are the three blog posts that I have written on in the past focusing on Our Lady of Lourdes – 

1. “Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of Lourdes 

2. “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict XVI on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes 

3. “Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes 

Our Lady of Lourdes…Pray for Us.

Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette

 

 

“Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes

This coming Tuesday is the feast day for St. Bernadette. She is famous for receiving eighteen visions at the grotto of Massabiele, beside the River Gave in Lourdes, France. This Marian apparition has become known as Our Lady of Lourdes. It is here on March 25, 1858, the Blessed Mother told Bernadette her name  – “I am the Immaculate Conception.” For more information on Our Lady of Lourdes and the Immaculate Conception click on the links.

Bernadette, a pet name by family and friends, was born on January 7, 1844 and christened Maria Bernarde. She was the oldest of six children born to Francis Soubirous and Louise Casterot. Bernadette was a fragile young woman who always had bouts with asthma and other ailments throughout her entire life. At the time of the first vision, her family was in a very poor state of life living in building that was nearly condemned. As a child, she was regarded as a slow student academically, but was a very good, obedient, and virtuous youth who took care of her brothers and sisters with gentle care, even though she suffered with physical ailments.

The apparitions at Lourdes did some good for her family, however, she endured great persecution and endless questioning once the visions has ceased only a few months after they had begun. To protect her from such harassment, the nuns at the hospice took her in and she resided with them for five years; however, people came to the hospice also asking her questions.

In 1864, she offered herself to the sisters of Notre-Dame de Nevers. She would not enter the novitiate of the motherhouse until 1866 since she had to endure attacks of sickness. Being away from her family and the grotto where the Blessed Mother appeared to her was difficult, but she was very happy with her sisters at Nevers. After residing at the motherhouse for only four months, she took sick and received last rites (now Anointing of the Sick), however, she recovered and worked as an infirmarian (nurse) and a sacristan. The asthma that she endured and suffered with her whole life led to other health complications.

On April 16, 1879, Bernadette Soubirous died – she was 35 years old. In 1933, Pope Pius XI canonized her a saint of the universal church. She is the Patron saint of Lourdes, France; bodily sickness; sick people, and shepherds.

Let us offer prayers for the intercession of Our Lady under her title at Lourdes and also ask for intercession from St. Bernadette for those who are burdened with illness and physical suffering.

St. Bernadette holy card