Traveling to Lourdes with St. Bernadette

When one visits Lourdes, France, they realize what a privilege it is to be in the presence of Our Lady and St. Bernadette. Few people are afforded this opportunity, but this summer, more than a thousand pilgrims were able to experience and venerate the reliquary of St. Bernadette at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas.

Four glorious days of rosaries, liturgies, virtual pilgrimages, candlelight processions, and veneration took place at the Cathedral. As the pilgrims approached the altar, they often handed rosaries, medals, and pictures to the knights and dames so that the articles could touch the reliquary. Attendees prayed for their families, the sick, and often the countries they left behind—Mexico, Central and South America, Ukraine and Nigeria to name a few—all of them seeking the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette.

A few quotes about the experience from our knights and dames:

“It was one of those unanticipated gifts of our Order.”

“Tremendously rewarding, especially in the spiritual gifts. The honor of being able to pray for many people and that their Sacramentals will help bring health, healing, and God’s grace to whomever touches them.”

“I was really emotional and in awe of the faithfulness of so many and honored to hold their precious belongings."

A few quotes about the experience from our pilgrims:

“I’m sorry I’m so emotional but I’ve been away from the church since I attended St. Bernadette’s grade school in the 1960s. I had to come to see her again.”

St. Bernadette’s prayer: “Joy of those who return to God. Consolation for the injured. Comfort of the pilgrims."

A child asks the following: “Please sir will you take my mantilla to her?”

St. Bernadette’s prayer: “Peasant wiser than the learned. Simple and transparent heart. Beloved little sister.“

Many thanks to the North American Lourdes Volunteers, the Order of Malta Houston Region knights and dames, but most of all the clergy and volunteers at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham. Your tremendous team effort allowed us to execute a beautiful veneration.