READING I: 1 Kings 12:26-32; 13:33-34
RESPONSORIAL: Psalms 106:6-7ab, 19-20, 21-22
GOSPEL: Mark 8:1-10
After the apparitions of 1858 at Lourdes, the pilgrimages naturally followed. Huge national pilgrimages of France began in 1873 and in 1901 Leo XIII brought in a special Mass and prayers for Our Lady of Lourdes. In 1907 Pius X made this day a feast of the whole church and fixed the date at February 11th.
For us Catholics who live in Europe, Lourdes is a special place of pilgrimage where we go expecting healing. Almost every diocese in Ireland has an annual pilgrimage for the sick. While miracles are rare, these events help a lot with inner healing and acceptance.
We always should keep in mind the promise of the Lord that every prayer is answered. It may not be answered in the way we hope but it is answered. Lourdes is the place we see this best; the acceptance and fellowship of the sick and the care they receive is a miracle in itself.