Yes, just what words do come to your lips when someone
When I asked a number of people that
same question, the words which they most frequently responded with
Miracles, Our Blessed Mother,
Bernadette, Peace, Prayer, and Hope.
I wasn’t a bit surprised. These are some of the same words
I’ve also used over and over again when speaking to others about
Lourdes and its special spiritual powers.
The story of Lourdes, as we know it
today, began on February 11, 1858. On that cold and damp Thursday morning in Lourdes, France,
Our Blessed Mother first appeared to the young peasant girl we now
call Saint Bernadette. In
the months which followed, Our Lady would again appear to
Bernadette 17 more times.
It didn’t take long before others
begin to gather with her at the river “grotto” where these apparitions
took place. Some came out of
curiosity, while many more came out of religious devotion. Today, millions pilgrimage to
Lourdes each year.
Most of the people who visit the
Lourdes Shrine annually are motivated by a deep religious
devotion. They come to pray for something
important. They come to find peace of mind. They travel long distances seeking hope for a better or
brighter tomorrow. And
probably all come with a legitimate hope that they or someone dear
to them might be blessed with a genuine Lourdes miraculous healing.
Over the past century and a half,
thousands of documented and undocumented healing miracles have been
attributed to Our Lady of Lourdes. Many of these miracles have been physical and emotional
healings, but perhaps the majority have been spiritual healings, really the greatest and most important
type of healing.
Few people in the United States will
ever have the opportunity to pilgrimage to Lourdes in search of Our
Lady’s graces and help at the sacred Lourdes Grotto. That is why each year the
Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine gives those associated with the
Shrine a chance to actually have their prayer petitions taken to
Lourdes and placed in prayer petition vault located in “the Grotto
So I’d thus ask of you, as soon as you finish reading
this letter, to please write on the
closed prayer petition form each one of your important prayer
petitions which you would like to bring to the attention of Our
Lady of Lourdes this February 11th.
What would you ask of Our Lady if you had the
opportunity to actually kneel before the Sacred Lourdes
Grotto? What healings are
you seeking for yourself or someone else dear and special to
you? Are you or a loved one
in need of a healing miracle? How could your life or that of a loved one be made happier
and more whole through a prayer answered by Our Lady of Lourdes?
Please do ask and seek that you
might find Our Lady saying to you “YES.”
Each year the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine
commemorates Our Lady’s first February 11th apparition through the
celebration of two special Mass Novenas, one prayed here at the
Shrine and the second in Lourdes, France. Thus, the prayer petitions you
would like placed in the Lourdes’ Sacred Grotto will also be prayed
for in each of these 18 Novena Masses. Your prayer petitions will not
stand alone. They will also be prayed for by all
those actively participating in
these two Mass Novenas.
When sending me your 2015 Lourdes’ prayer petitions, I
hope you will also be able to enclose a Lourdes’ donation in
support of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Shrine.
In addition to the Shrine’s financial needs, your
generous donation will also help support our seminary education
program. If you are able to
send a donation of $25 or more, I would like to show my appreciation
by sending you our 2015 Aurora Borealis Crystal Lourdes Rosary. This beautiful Lourdes Rosary is
pictured and described on the enclosed form.
I look forward to receiving your 2015 Lourdes
petitions shortly. Please do
not delay in sending them to me. And, let’s both pray
together that your new year of 2015 might be blessed with an abundance of happiness and
In the love and care of Our Blessed
Fr. Raymond M. Dien CMC
P.S. If you don’t wish to receive a
Lourdes gift rosary, but would still like to send a donation of $25
or more, I’ll see that a Long-burning Lourdes Votive Candle is lit
here at Our Lady’s Shrine for your intentions or for the intentions
of a loved one. Also let me know if you would
like to memorialize yourself or a loved one here at the Shrine.