Province of Spain – Pilgrimage to Lourdes – AGMONT, 2023
From May 20 to 21, 2023, Grignion de Montfort Association (AGMONT) of Spain organized a pilgrimage to Lourdes. It must be said in passing that this pilgrimage was the first since the end of the barriers of COVID 19.
Around 90 people participated in this pilgrimage. It was a personal, family and community faith journey, a meeting and sharing, a spiritual search. It goes without saying that Lourdes is a privileged place to renew one’s spiritual strength in prayer; a place of renewal, of comfort, of inner healing. Lourdes is also an extension of the joy experienced by the pilgrims of Israel: “What joy when they said to me, we will go to the house of the Lord ” (Ps 122:1). In short, it’s a place of thanksgiving for the wonders of God through Mary, in Mary and with Mary.
The Montfortian Gabrielite Partners Group de l’Espagne (AGMONT), by reviving the tradition of making a Montfortian pilgrimage each year, allows its members and friends to enter into a communion of faith and charity, with other people coming from all corners of the world, in the footsteps of Bernadette Soubirous who had the privilege of welcoming the manifestations of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, in 1858, at the age of fourteen.
Lourdes, a journey of faith and charity lived with the Lord through Mary
Two buses were contracted for two groups. The first one left from Saint Gabriel College in Sant Adria and the second from Saint Gabriel College in Besós de Barcelona. Around 5:15 a.m., the departure to Lourdes began, in a spirit of prayer and fraternity. One could say that the pilgrims experienced Psalm 34, 9 which says: “taste and see how good the Lord is”. One could easily read the joy of living fraternity, conviviality and friendship in a Montfortian spirit.
In Lourdes, all the pilgrims were lodged in the same hotel called PEYRAMALE. Several spiritual activities were organized to allow the pilgrims to live moments of profound interiority with the Lord Jesus and his Mother, the Virgin Mary. We can mention among others the Marian procession at 9:00 pm, with a huge crowd coming from everywhere, well organized, rich in symbols. Before that, the group participated in the prayer of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 7:00 p.m., in the Basilica of St. Pius X (known as underground), another moment of intimacy with Christ.
Sunday was marked by three main events: the Eucharistic celebration, the Way of the Cross and the Rosary. As for the Mass, the homily of Brother Jose Maria Vicario held the attention of the group, focusing on three points: Willing, Awake and Funny. A short homily, precise and clear, but above all challenging. This was followed by the Way of the Cross, located on the hill of Espélugues, led by Brother Genaro Fresno. For those who were not able to make the ascent, they were offered another itinerary of the Way of the Cross, more suitable for their age, led by Brother Eugenio. Finally, these exercises of piety were concluded with the recitation of the rosary at the place called: « Across the Gave »
Lourdes, thanksgiving to God for his wonders
The Montfortian Gabrielite Partners Group and friends took the opportunity to give thanks to God, who allowed this trip to Lourdes to be realized, for the spiritual renewal, for the encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary, who finally directs us to her Son Jesus Christ. Reading the faces of all those who participated in this pilgrimage, one could observe the overflowing and bright joy in their hearts. And finally, this joy was expressed by the exhibition of some dance steps to the rhythm of “Amigos para siempre”. Yes, like King David, who dances for joy because of the love of God (2 Samuel 6,14), the pilgrims did not want to miss this opportunity to dance and give thanks to God for the marvels of conviviality and friendship, but above all for the moments of joy, peace and understanding experienced during these two days. Yes, joy makes you dance, it is contagious and it weaves bonds for life.
Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s
After giving thanks to God for the beauty and goodness of this pilgrimage, it would also be fraternally appreciated to say thank you to Caesar; we think of the organizers of this pilgrimage: Mr. Pascual Miñano, Mrs. Raquel and all the others who have worked night and day in pure discretion for the realization of this spiritual journey in Lourdes. We could say that you have been for the group that Simon of Cirene, who helps Jesus to carry his Cross. You have allowed and helped the pilgrims to live through Mary, in Mary and with Mary this experience of faith and charity in Lourdes.
To Jesus through Mary, Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort
Bro. Robert Stanislas (FSG)