Pastoral Theme for Pilgrimage
The Pastoral Theme for the Lourdes Pilgrimage 2012: “With Bernadette, praying the rosary.”
This is the third year when all pilgrims coming to Lourdes are invited to pray with Bernadette as their guide. In 2012 we ask her help in praying the Rosary. Our Lady was a spiritual teacher for little Bernadette. By her presence, her words and gestures and through the rosary, Mary, our Mother, led Bernadette into contemplating the mystery of Jesus, her Son, the Redeemer of the world.
The rosary is a simple, accessible prayer through which we can all contemplate the unfolding mysteries of Christ’s life. Just as Our Lady treasured all her memories of Jesus and “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19; cf. 2:51), we can do the same in the Rosary. One of the sisters who lived with Bernadette in the convent of Nevers said she believed Bernadette prayed the Rosary every day and spoke of the Virgin Mary as “My kind Mother.”
So it is that 154 years ago, Mary, the spiritual teacher, and Bernadette, child of Mary, daughter of the Father and disciple of Christ, first opened the doors of the “school of prayer” that is the rosary.
For each of the four full days of our pilgrimage, the four sets of mysteries of the Rosary will be our guide. Praying the Rosary with Bernadette, we hope to enter deeper into seeing the face of Jesus shine out of the Gospel and the beauty of what St. Paul wrote about: “the mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory.”
On Saturday 8th September, the Birthday of Our Lady and the day of our Opening Mass, we are invited to pray the Joyful Mysteries: 1. The Annunciation, 2. The Visitation, 3. The Birth of Jesus, 4. The Presentation of Jesus, 5. The Finding of the child Jesus in the Temple. We can ask ourselves: how can I be a bearer of God’s joy to others?
On Sunday 9th September, the Lord’s Day, the weekly Easter, we are invited to pray the Glorious Mysteries: 1. The Resurrection, 2.The Ascension, 3. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, 4. The Assumption of Our Lady into heaven, 5. The Crowning of Our Lady. We can ask ourselves: how can I glorify the Lord in my life?
On Monday 10th September, the day we will take part in the torchlight procession, we focus on the Luminous Mysteries also called the Mysteries of Light: 1. the Baptism in the River Jordan, 2. The Wedding at Cana, 3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God, 5. the Transfiguration, 6. The Institution of the Eucharist. We can ask ourselves: How can I welcome the light of Christ to shine in every aspect of my life?
On our last full day, Tuesday 11th September, when we will do the Stations of the Cross, we will contemplate the Sorrowful Mysteries, scenes from the Passion of the Lord Jesus: 1. The Agony in the Garden, 2. The Scourging at the Pillar, 3. The Crowning with Thorns, 4. The Carrying of the Cross, 5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus. We can ask ourselves: where do we see the face of the suffering Christ today?
On our pilgrimage and when we return home, may St Bernadette help us to recognise the Joyful and Sorrowful, the Glorious and Luminous mysteries of Christ at work in us and in our neighbour.