Feast day: February 11
The following prayer is said at the weekly Tuesday evening St Jude Novena:
Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
O Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Mercy,
Health of the Sick,
Refuge of Sinners,
Comforter of the Afflicted,
you know our wants, our troubles, our sufferings:
look on us with love and pity.
You appeared at the Grotto of Lourdes
and made it a holy sanctuary
of prayer and healing grace.
Many sufferers have already been healed in soul and body.
We come, therefore, with complete confidence
to implore your intercession.
Most loving Mother,
obtain for us the graces we ask for.
We will endeavour always to imitate your virtues
that we may one day
rejoice with you in the glory of heaven.
From February 11 to July 16, 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous received visions from Our Lady near the mountain village of Lourdes, in south-western France. Initially, people refused to believe her, but the apparitions continued. When Bernadette asked the Lady who she was the Lady replied that she was the Immaculate Conception, and this came just four years after the dogma had been declared by Pope Pius IX. In time the well and site of the apparition became a centre of prayer as people flocked to it to draw closer to Our Lady and in the hope of receiving a cure. Several miracles have taken place there and, in recognition of this, Pope John Paul II named February 11 as ‘World Day of the Sick’ in 1992. On the feast day, special liturgies may be celebrated which include the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is located on the left as one enters the main body of the church at Whitefriar Street. It extends from floor to ceiling and depicts the young Bernadette kneeling and looking up at Our Lady as she appeared to her.