- Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:16
On February 11, 1858, a very young Bernadette Soubirous (1844–79) and two other young girls were gathering kindling wood for families. At some point in the wood-gathering expedition, Bernadette was alone on the shores of the River Gave, near the grotto of Massabielle. It was here that Our Lady, Mary the Mother of God, unexpectedly appeared to her. From this moment until July 16, “the beautiful Lady in white” appeared 18 times.
As the history goes, on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, Bernadette asked the beautiful woman in white: “Would you please tell me who you are?” The answer she heard was: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” The title was something Bernadette never knew until this moment. Remember, only four years earlier did Pope Pius IX define(December 8, 1854) Mary’s Immaculate Conception. This grotto named Our Lady of Lourdes has become one of the most famous shrines in Western Europe dedicated to Mary.
Countless pilgrims go there to present their petition for a healing and cure –miracles are frequent. In 1890, Pope Leo XIII permitted the local Diocese of Tarbes, in which Lourdes is located, to celebrate this feast; Pope Pius X extended it to the universal Church in 1907.
Liturgically, we acclaim Mary as the sinless Mother of God, and the sacred Liturgy recalls for us the name that our Lady gave herself when she said “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette entered in 1866 the Sisters of Charity and Christian Instruction of Nevers. She died in 1879 and was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1933.
Today’s feast is the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Let’s remember those in need of a healing and cure from God.
- Monday, 08 October 2012 09:34
The month of October is devoted to the theme of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The Rosary is the official prayer for the Year of Faith. As Pope Benedict recently said, “I would like to suggest to everyone to renew the prayer of the Rosary in the upcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ.”
The Portsmouth Abbey folks have finally produced a beautiful background video on the meaning of the Grotto for the monastic community, the school and the greater Catholic community. “The Grotto at Portsmouth Abbey” may be watched here
. The video is the fruit of Jamie Macguire with the assistance of several monks. It’s well done, and informative.
This is the first of many good things to come from Portsmouth Abbey and School in light of the Year of Faith.
May Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the Rosary, pray for Portsmouth Abbey and for us.
- Friday, 04 May 2012 17:08
Magnificat, anima mea Dominum!
Earlier today my friend Peter and I journeyed to Portsmouth Abbey
and School for the blessing of the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. An outdoor shrine to dedicated to the Virgin Mary who appeared in Lourdes France in the 19th century. Abbot Caedmon led the blessing and School choir sang the traditional hymns to Our Lady.
Abbot Caedmon drew our attention to the humility of Mary appearing to Saint Bernadette asking her to tell the world of the need for prayer and penance. A message clearly consistent with the Gospel of Christ. It is Mary, the Mother of God, Mother of the Church who calls us to greater fidelity to her Son and Our Savior, Jesus. And so the Gospel and Our Lady of Lourdes, so with us today.
The Grotto dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes on the west side of the Portsmouth Abbey campus is the generous gift of an anonymous former student and benefactor of Portsmouth. The generosity of this man is borne of his desire to make the Virgin Mary of Lourdes known and to inspire among those connected with Portsmouth the enduring commitment of faith, reason and service for one’s salvation and the salvation of the world. A significant example of this witness is that the Abbey School, for the last 34 years, has joined with the Ampleforth Abbey Pilgrimage (England) for a service to trip to assist the sick on pilgrimage seeking a divine healing and cure at the great Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in southern France in July.
The stone for the Grotto was harvested from the Abbey property (as was the stone used for the Abbey Church) and a local landscaping crew did the labor. Benedictine Brother Joseph contributed his expertise to the project.
Read more ...
- Friday, 11 February 2011 07:00
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 19th World Day of the Sick.
God of mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the sinless mother of God. May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness.
By his wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:24)
Many in the world suffer. That is a given and we ought to keep the suffering of others in the forefront of our minds. I think this is appropriate for no other reason than the example of Jesus who showed had compassion on all suffering people, healing them in body, mind, and soul. He even allowed Himself to be conquered by evil and suffering, though we know that He ultimately defeated death by death itself when on the third day he rose from the dead. Jesus’ own suffering and rising is proof of a love that knows know limits. As Benedict has said in various places that “Only a God who loves us to the extent of taking upon himself our wounds and our pain, especially innocent suffering, is worthy of faith.”
Read more ...