You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.
Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
XXIII Annual World Day of the Sick - February 11th
The 23rd World Day of the Sick will be celebrated on Wednesday 11 February, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The World Day of the Sick is an initiative which was started by Pope John Paul II in 1992. Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have continued this special World Day – an occasion during which the whole Church bears witness with special concern to the tender mercy and love of God towards all who suffer. It is a time to pause and be prayerfully in solidarity with those who are sick and with all who care for the sick.
The theme for the 2015 World Day of the Sick is “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job 29:15).
In his message for this year’s World Day of the Sick Pope Francis says: “Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame”! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.”
Pope Francis message 2015 World Day of the Sick - “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”
February 11th is the feast day of Our Lady under her tittle of Our Lady of Lourdes. n February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.”
During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity.
Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.
You can learn more about Lourdes and the story of the apparitions on the official website of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes including a live stream from the grotto.
The discussion about Lourdes from this weeks programme is excerpted from this weeks podcast HERE.
Gospel - Mark 7:14-23
And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them.
That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered together about the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, and they found him and said to him, "Every one is searching for you." And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out." And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical Odds and Ends
Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 1; 5th week in Ordinary time
Saints of the Week
9th February - St Miguel Febres Cordero
10th February - St Scholastica
11th February - Our Lady of Lourdes; World Day of the Sick; St Gobnait
12th February - St Melitus of Antioch
13th February - St Catherine De Ricci
14th February - St Cyril & St Methodius (patrons of Europe); also St Valentine
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