Lourdes to host first online world pilgrimage – Vatican News

Lourdes to host first online world pilgrimage The Marian Shrine at Lourdes will host the first ever online world pilgrimage on Thursday, 16 July, the anniversary of the final apparition to St Bernadette Soubirous. By Christopher Wells Over 160 years ago, in 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to a young French girl, Bernadette Soubirous, in the small town of Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A shrine soon arose at the site of the apparitions, and in the years and decades since, with millions of pilgrims visiting the shrine,  thousands of miraculous healings and conversions have been reported. In 2020, two years after the 150th anniversary of the apparitions, Lourdes is virtually empty. For the first time in its history, the shrine was closed to pilgrims, a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it has now re-opened, health care measures mean that only a very limited number of pilgrims can visit the shrine. The first worldwide virtual pilgrimage In response, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is organising the first ever worldwide virtual pilgrimage, set for Thursday 16 July, the anniversary of the final apparition to St Bernadette. Millions of people from around the world are expected...