02 February 2008

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes

February 11th is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes so today is the day to begin a novena to Mary under this wonderful title. This is the 150th anniversary of the apparition of Mary at Lourdes and Pope Benedict has granted several indulgences attached to this feast. February 11th is also World Day of the Sick.

There is also an official Lourdes2008 web site with more information about this jubilee year.

There is also a preparatory novena if you are making a pilgrimage to Lourdes. (For those unable to go to Lourdes, we can still make a spiritual pilgrimage and likewise pray this novena.)

“If between February 2, 2008 … and February 11, 2008, Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes and 150th anniversary of the apparition, they visit, in any church, grotto or decorous place, the blessed image of that same Virgin of Lourdes, solemnly exposed for public veneration, and before the image participate in a pious exercise of Marian devotion, or at least pause for an appropriate space of time in prayer and with pious meditations, concluding with the recital of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith, … and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The decree concludes by recalling that faithful who “through sickness, old age or other legitimate reason are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain the Plenary Indulgence … if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, on the days February 2 to 11, 2008, in their hearts they spiritually visit the above-mentioned places and recite those prayers, trustingly offering to God, through Mary, the sickness and discomforts of their lives.”

You can read the full decree with other indulgences that pertain to this feast here.

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