- The Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes in 1858
- Millions of pilgrims travel to this sacred place each year
- The Order of Malta does an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes
- This year, the Western Association had 329 pilgrims
Millions of pilgrims visit Lourdes each year, bringing their ills, sorrows, and struggles to the Grotto of Massabielle where the Immaculate Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette eighteen times in 1858.
The Order of Malta has been serving its beloved Malades, the term for sick patients in French, in Lourdes for over 70 years.
The Order of Malta was unable to hold its annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, the Western Association was the only Association to return to Lourdes. But, this year, the Order as a whole was blessed to return to this sacred place.
The theme of this year’s pilgrimage was drawn from the Virgin Mary’s thirteenth apparition to St. Bernadette on March 2, 1858: “Go and tell the priests that people should come here in procession, and that a chapel should be built here.”
The Order of Malta Western Association was represented in Lourdes this year by 329 pilgrims.
Traveling from over 30 countries, some 3,000 Knights, Dames, volunteers, and Malades flocked to Lourdes for this holy and healing pilgrimage.
During the week-long pilgrimage, members and volunteers for the Order care for the Malades who have accompanied them.
This year, there were 500 Malades who traveled with the Order!
Assisted by the Order of Malta Members, Auxiliary Members, and volunteers, the Malades are able to participate in:
- Opening Mass at the Rosary Basilica
- Water Gesture at the Baths
- Washing of the Feet
- Sacrament of Reconciliation
- “Miracle at Lourdes” talk from the Lourdes Medical Bureau Director Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, MD
- Anointing of the Sick Mass
- Candlelight Marian Procession
- Mass in the Grotto
- Blessed Sacrament Procession
- International Mass in the underground Basilica of St. Pius X
- Visit to the Cachot, St. Bernadette’s childhood home
- Closing Mass at the Upper Basilica
During the pilgrimage, the Western Association was honored to have the Lieutenant of the Grand Master stopped by its leadership luncheon to have a meet and greet.
It was also a joy to witness the confirmation of one of the Malades by Cardinal Tomasi, who is Special Delegate of the Vatican to the Order of Malta.
View our image gallery to re-experience the joy of members experience on pilgrimage.