February 12, 2016

Our Lady of Lourdes...pray for us!

Yesterday was the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  This feast commemorates the 1858 appearances of the Virgin Mary to a girl named Bernadette Soubirous at a grotto in Lourdes, France.  A spring is underneath the grotto and over the years, millions of people have gone on pilgrimage to bath in the water, especially those who are ill or need healing.  Thus, Pope John Paul II created the World Day of the Sick on February 11 each year.  To mark this date, I put some water from Lourdes in our holy water font in our chapel and invited anyone to come to bless themselves with the water and to join me in praying for the sick during lunch.  Alas, only one boy came by but together we prayed the Hail Mary and this prayer from the Catholic Health Association of the United States:

God of healing and compassion,
You shower us with your in nite care, and comfort all in pain and affliction.

Look with abundant mercy on all who suffer
in body, mind or spirit. Grant healing and hope
to the sick, the wounded and the dying
in their darkest hours, so they may witness the power of Your Healing Presence in the world.

We thank you, Gracious God,
for all those who have contributed to the mission
of Catholic health care for more than 200 years in the United States. These are the women and men who inspire and inform the work we do every day.

Send your merciful love and empowerinG presence
to all who continue working to alleviate the suffering
of the sick, the lonely and the broken-hearted, wherever they may be. Sustain us, Your ministers of compassion and healing,
in our work in the world as we continue Your mission of love and healing.

May we be the face of your son, Jesus, who said,
“Come to me all who labor and are burdened
and you will nd rest for your souls,
for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
May all who work in health care and all those who suffer with family and loved ones who are ill

feel their burdens lightened through the intercession of our prayers.

We ask this, on the world day of the sick,
through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes,
whose feast we celebrate today,
and in the name of your Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. 

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