is celebrated on Saturday, 11th February. On this date in 1858, Our Lady first appeared to the fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous. In all there were eighteen apparitions during which Our Lady told Bernadette to “Pray for sinners” and revealed her own identity by saying “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Every year millions of people visit the rock at Massabielle in Lourdes to pray in the place where the Blessed Virgin appeared.
In 1992 Pope John Paul II instituted World Day of the Sick to be held in commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes.
On 11th February, let us turn our thoughts to the Shrine of Lourdes, a prophetic lesson entrusted to the Church for our modern times. It is not only what functions well or those who are productive that matter. Sick people, in fact, are at the centre of God’s people, and the Church advances together with them as a sign of a humanity in which everyone is precious and no one should be discarded or left behind. Pope Francis