In the year 1858, in a small town called Lourdes in the South West of France, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a young girl named Bernadette. Even though Bernadette did not know who the lady was that only she could see, she willingly obeyed her request to come back to see her a number of times. over a period of five months. The local people told Bernadette to ask the lady who she is. After the next appearance Bernadette told them that the lady had called herself something she didn’t understand…The Immaculate Conception. Mary’s message to Bernadette was for people to pray, do penance, and to build a church at this place. She was also instructed by Mary to dig a for a new spring (which continues to flow today). It has now, of course, become a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the world especially the sick. The Relics of St Bernadette will be visiting our Aylesford Priory later this month, Monday 24th – Friday 28 October.
There will be a full programme of Masses, Confessions, and Devotions at Aylesford Priory, further details can be found on the website of the Archdiocese of Southwark & Aylesford Priory & UK Relic Tour of St. Bernadette.
Mindful of the fact that many have been unable to travel to Lourdes during the pandemic, this tour offers us an opportunity to experience the charisms of our Lady Immaculate’s Shrine. It reminds us, too, of the importance of our own earthly pilgrimage, and invites us to journey in the company of both St Bernadette, and our Blessed Mother, the one who is blessed because she first believed, and thus became the Mother of Emmanuel – God-with-us. (Cf. Redemptoris Mater 28)