Lourdes. More than just a pilgrimage.
After a traumatic incident, I found myself looking to get to Lourdes – a place not on the original bucket list. The first morning, I found myself sad and lost in the cold late rainy winter. In the off-season, it can be challenging to find the right church/chapel for English mass. Finally guided in the right direction by a helpful French Father, I met Sr. Agnes. Her first question in her memorable cultured accent, “Are you looking for the English mass?” welcomed me like the warm bright sun rising above the horizon on a cold winter morning. We shared a mass that I will never forget. Hildegard sang every note as sweet as what I would imagine an angel to sound. Jay making sure everyone had their hymnal and prayer books. And Francis embraced the magnetic energy of the service with the rest of us. If it wasn’t for them, then I wouldn’t be able to share such an experience. Enjoying after mass tea/coffee and biscuits with conversation that you didn’t want to end, especially because we were filled with unlimited laughter.
The following day, I went to light my candles and met Swylvia at the baths. A beautiful soul from Poland residing in the UK with her husband Robert. Sharing dinner at Da Marco with them filled not only my belly with an amazing pizza in France, and also provided a safe space for my heart to heal.
My overall faith may be weary at times. And I may not have experienced the pilgrimage of Lourdes yet. However, I feel honored to have walked the path of St. Bernadette in order to meet the people who live and breathe the spirit she embodied. They continue to carry her spirit and I am forever grateful. I look forward to taking in the pilgrimage with them on the next trip. Lourdes is now a constant on the bucket list – a new experience every time!