From our special correspondent
Lourdes rediscovers colors. While in 2020 the sanctuary had closed, the city expects nearly a million pilgrims this year, against 3.5 million in other years. After a 2020 national pilgrimage without sick people, there will be around 300 sick people and 3,000 participants for the 2021 edition organized by the Assumption family, from Wednesday 11 to Monday 16 August.
The gathering will be on the theme “All called to fraternity”. A choice determined by the publication of the encyclical Fratelli tutti October 4, 2020, but also by the health crisis, which takes on a particular resonance after the murder of Father Olivier Maire.
“Mary invites us to welcome a message that she delivers to the grotto of Massabielle and calls us to prayer and penance to heal ourselves. In this time of pandemic, we see how much we need it. The first remedy lies in our fraternal relationship, of which Pope Francis gives us a magnificent expression in his encyclical Fratelli tutti “, recalls Father Vincent Cabanac, director of the pilgrimage, in his editorial.
Chaired by Mgr Michel Aupetit, Archbishop of Paris, the pilgrimage begins on August 11 with the Mass of Hospitality and the arrival of the pilgrims in the afternoon. The following days will be punctuated by testimonies and conferences on fraternity in several forms: in the Bible, in hardship, between different Christian denominations, non-violence… On August 12, Father Franklin Parmentier, parish priest of Notre-Dame- de-l’Assomption in Nice, a basilica targeted by an attack in October, will testify to “Hope in the face of the enigma of evil”. On August 13, Véronique Fayet, former president of Secours Catholique, will give her testimony on the theme “The poor, our brothers and sisters”. On August 14, Pierre de Villiers will evoke “the courage of fraternity”. The highlight of the pilgrimage will take place on August 15 with the Assumption Mass, chaired by Bishop Aupetit and to be followed live on the site and the application. The cross.