Five million pilgrims arrive in Lourdes, France, each season to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary who appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Mary identified herself: “I am the Immaculate Conception,” which is now engraved on the Miraculous Medal. People of faith touch or drink the waters from the spring at the grotto in Lourdes in hope of cures.
February 11 is a day to pray for all the sick. Included here are some prayerful thoughts by Pope Benedict XVI on the sick and those who care for them.
To all those who work in the field of health, and to the families who see in their relatives the suffering face of the Lord Jesus, I renew my thanks and that of the Church, because, in their professional expertise and in silence, often without even mentioning the name of Christ, they manifest him in a concrete way.
To Mary, Mother of Mercy and Health of the Sick, we raise our trusting gaze and our prayer; may her maternal compassion, manifested as she stood beside her dying Son on the Cross, accompany and sustain the faith and the hope of every sick and suffering person on the journey of healing for the wounds of body and spirit!