Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Published February 11, 2021, 10:21 AM

by Christina Hermoso

Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco will preside over a high mass at noon today, February 11, at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes on Kanlaon Street in Quezon City, in solemn commemoration of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, marking the 163rd   anniversary of the series of apparitions of the Blessed Mother to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 at the Cave of Massabielle in Lourdes, France.

(Photo from CBCP)

Eleven masses will be celebrated today in celebration of the feast with the first mass to be held at 6 a.m. and the last mass at 9:00 p.m. All masses will be streamed live through the Facebook page of the shrine.

About 300 persons will be allowed inside the church in each mass to observe physical distancing. This year’s theme is “Inang Maria, Reyna ng Pilipinas.”

Today’s Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes coincides with the observance of the 29th World Day of the Sick.

In a message, Manila Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo  called on the faithful to take care of their own health and to continue to pray for an end to the pandemic.

In Lourdes, France, devotees and pilgrims traditionally gather at the basilica that was constructed at the site of the apparitions, as well as at the miraculous well, where healing of both the body and the spirit have been reported. The Roman Catholic Church had recognized more than 60 miraculous cures at Lourdes, a popular destination for pilgrimages, healings, and spiritual renewal.

According to stories, the Holy Mother, wearing a white dress with a blue belt, a rosary in her hands, and two golden roses at her feet, appeared to a poor and sickly girl, St. Bernadette, at least 16 times starting on Feb. 11, 1858 at the Cave of Massabielle in Lourdes. She asked her to pray to the Holy Rosary for the conversion of sinners, to build a chapel on the site of the apparitions, and to drink from a spring of miraculous water nearby. The Blessed Mother introduced herself as the “Immaculate Conception.”

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes has been celebrated worldwide since 1907, making it one of the oldest feasts in the Church calendar.