Mass, procession, baths

Our first Pilgrimage Mass was in the chapel of St Michel. Afterwards, I gave the basic orientation talk and we had just time for a quick visit to the Grotto before dinner. The torchlight procession begins at 9pm and Alicia, the youngest of our pilgrims,(recently made her first Holy Communion) carried the parish flag.

This morning's Mass was in the Crypt Chapel. We had the votive Mass of St Bernadette in the chapel where her relics are kept. The rest of her remains are at Nevers and, famously, incorrupt.

After Mass, the group went to see the Information Bureau's introductory film. I went to the Baths. There was no queue at all and I was able to go straight in. What happens is that you say a prayer, step down into the stone bath filled with (cold) Lourdes water, then allow yourself to be dunked backwards by two assistants. Kiss the statue, drink some water, say another prayer and away you go, refreshed, renewed and joyful.

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