The Order of Malta’s 52nd international pilgrimage to Lourdes starts
today and finishes on 4 May, with more than 6,000 Order of Malta members and volunteers from 32 countries taking care of 1,400 sick.
Led by the Order’s Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing and members of the Sovereign Council, participants included the President Emeritus of the Republic of Malta Guido de Marco and the President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino.
The US, Dutch and Czech Associations, among others, had already arrived at the sanctuary yesterday, Thursday 29th. Others, such as the Lithuanian Association, will arrive today after have crossed Europe in coaches. The pilgrimage will begin tomorrow at 14.30 with the international opening mass officiated by the Order’s Pro-Patron, Archbishop Paolo Sardi. After this the Grand Master will meet the sick and present the participation medals, while on Saturday he will spend the evening with volunteers who are making the pilgrimage for the first time.
The pilgrimage will continue until Tuesday evening with the customary moments of prayer, assistance to the sick and visits to the places in which the Virgin appeared to St. Bernardette.