“Tell The People To Come”
Y’all, my life has not been the same since I went to Lourdes, France a few weeks ago. I have always believed in God, been spiritual, went to mass, and did what I was supposed to do.
But, truth be told I stressed about lots of things. Dying, my husband, kids, family dying. Everyone I knew just seemed to be at peace with God, living a good life, and then dying. I could check most things off my list, but I just always had anxiety about religion. Don’t get me wrong. I pray all of the time and am a big believer. But, more nights than not, I would get so stressed out about what is next. I did not have the “peace” that everyone else seemed to have.
Fast forward to our sweet friend getting sick and us taking our trip to Lourdes, France. Growing up we were taught lots of things, but one thing that we always remembered was that if ever you got a serious illness, you would immediately go to Lourdes. Christa and I had no clue why this was when we asked our friend Laura if she wanted to go.
Laura said yes, and it was decided that the five of us would make a quick pilgrimage to Lourdes (Me, Christa, Laura, Paige, and Rose Marie) right before the kids went back to school.
It would be a quick trip to Europe (Sunday to Sunday for me, Christa, and Paige, and Sunday to Friday for Laura and Rose Marie).
We didn’t know anything about planning a trip to Lourdes and selfishly asked Laura and her mom if they could figure out what we should do the few days we were there. Remember, we arrived in Lourdes Monday evening, spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday there, but left 7:00 am on Thursday morning. Our Lourdes trip was quick, but life changing. I would go as far to say that the 2 full days I spent in Lourdes was equivalent to the total number of days I have spent on vacations combined (and I have taken lots of amazing vacations). I know that is a big statement, but I would bet the other four would agree.
“Tell The People To Come”
Why should you go to Lourdes one day in your life?
I will preface this answer by saying that you don’t have to be Catholic to experience the spirituality and goodness of Lourdes. People we met were from all over the world and were of all faiths.
Also, I’m so grateful we came to Lourdes because of our sweet friend Laura, but the message I want to send is that, we should all go. Let’s go when we aren’t sick. We just need to go! Trust me! Everyone that is able, should try and go.
What is the deal about , “Tell the People To Come”?
There have been miracles all over the world. Lourdes is the only place that Mary was insistent that she wanted people to come to. Fatima is in Portugal and it’s where Mary appeared to the children. There is also Jerusalem and Medugorje. They all have religious significance, but Lourdes is the only place that Mary was very specific about telling the people to come!
What is a quick summary of the importance of Lourdes?
Bernadette was a poor, sickly girl who went to fetch wood with her friends. Her friends went ahead and she waited by the “Grotto”. Mother Mary appeared before her. Bernadette did not know what to do or think. Mary eventually would come appear 17 more times. She told Bernadette where to dig for water and told her to tell the people to come. People started bathing in the waters and some were healed. Over 7000 people have said they have had some type of healing from the baths. The doctor that we were lucky to get in touch with is the head of the studies of the miracles. To this day, only 70 have been officially recognized in the Catholic Church. The last one took 10 years because they want to make sure that the people don’t have the disease recur.
Fun fact- while we were there, “The Doctor” insisted that Paige (senior in nursing school) and Rose Marie (former nurse) join the organization of medical professions. Every time they are in Lourdes, they are to go sign in at the Medical Building. If there is a miracle being studied and presented, they look up the people in the ledger who are presently in Lourdes, and invite them to the hearing. This is where they vote on whether there is enough evidence for the proposed miracle to go to the next stage.
Who Were The People That You Met?
Laura’s mom somehow got in contact with a guy named Wayne Ruth (related to Babe). She recognized he had the same occupation as her late father and they quickly realized Wayne was very good friends with her father. Wayne just happened to be very good friend with the doctor. (Most people think Vatican City is where miracles are studied, but in fact it is in Lourdes). Wayne put us in contact with the doctor who then met us and introduced us to people who would make our trip even more special. We were thrilled to meet and spend time with Margaret from the UK and Father Jim from Boston. Margaret spent hours with us and provided us with so much information (where I got most of this information for the blog) and Father Jim was with us several times throughout our journey (2 masses, the baths, a prayer session, and much more). We got to spend a few minutes with the doctor and we were very appreciative, as he is a very busy man!
Ya’ll were lucky to have an amazing experience in Lourdes. If I go, will I feel the same?
I have thought about this a lot. We were so lucky that we got connected to doctor who was the head of the miracles. We had so many beautiful, life changing experiences, but most of the ones I care most about, were not the “special attention” experiences. If you go to Lourdes, you must go to the baths. Yes, we got a “special private experience”, but I’m taking my family next summer and we will wait a few hours. But the experience will be the same. The highlight of the trip for me was the 8 pm Rosary where you walk in a circle with candles and it is in all languages. We did this our last night and I wish we would have done it every night we were there. That was LIFE CHANGING…..Go to my Facebook page and look at my Facebook live. I go back to it over and over because it is just so AWESOME.
How hard, expensive is it to plan a pilgrimage to Lourdes?
Surprisingly, now that we have done it, it was not hard at all. No more difficult than any of the other trips we have taken. You fly to Toulouse, France (large city) and then rent a car. We drove about 2.5 hours to Lourdes and it was great. We parked our car there the entire time and then just got back in it when we were headed back to Toulouse. As far as cost, we play the credit card point game. Out of pocket plane ticket could be anywhere from $800-$1500 depending on the time of year. It is 60k united points for a round trip ticket. If you get a Chase Saphire card, the sign up bonus is 60k points. There is your plane ticket.
Will you go back?
Yes!!!! The experience was so life changing that we have changed our 2020 summer plans so that I can take Dave and the girls to Lourdes and Portugal. I want them to experience what we experienced. It was so peaceful and beautiful. If I would have known how it would make me feel, I would have put it on the top of my go to places years ago. Dave also said he was ok with me going back in April if anyone wants to go. I won’t go if its just myself (since I am going in July), but would be willing to go if there is any interest. I am by no means an expert, but feel like I have a handle of what a week pilgrimage to Lourdes would look like. Also, Lourdes is in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. It is beautiful!!!
What is a pilgrimage?
A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about the self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life.
What would you do for a week in Lourdes?
Sunday to Sunday would be a perfect amount of time. You leave Sunday, and arrive Monday evening, just in time for dinner and bedtime. Monday-Friday would be spent going to mass, to the Baths, beautiful churches, the Grotto, the afternoon Eucharistic Procession, the evening outside candlelight service (life changing), the stations of the cross, shopping, having nice meals, volunteering, and maybe taking a day trip to San Sebastian. Saturday would be driving back to Toulouse and spending the night to head home bright and early Sunday.
Would we have the same experience you had?
Yes and no. Yes in that it will be amazing and we would do everything that we did on this trip. It won’t be the same because we wouldn’t have access to the special people that Laura’s family knew. Most of the people will be back in their home countries, but like I said earlier. This experience is life changing regardless if you get to skip the line or not. When the girls, Dave, and I go back in July we will wait in line for the baths and be on the sideline during the Eucharistic Procession, but the experiences will be just as amazing.
So there you have it. Life is short and we spend so much of it worrying about stupid stuff. Nothing is promised for tomorrow. All we can do is be good people and live life the way God and Mary would want us to. She says, “Tell the People To Come” and that is what I am doing.
My question for you? Who wants to go to Lourdes?