Saturday 12th May
Check in at Dublin airport for our Aer Lingus flight to Toulouse. Coach transfer to the 4* Hotel Astrid and check in for 5 nights on a full board basis.
Sunday 13th May
On Sunday morning we gather in the Basilica of St Pius X, with its beautiful stained glass windows, for International Mass. The International Mass takes place at 9.30am. Holy Mass lasts about an hour and a half with the participation of most of the pilgrimages present at the time. You should arrive one hour before to ensure a seat. To be part of the choir you should come to the Basilica, near the organ, at 8.30 am for rehearsal. Pilgrims of all languages are welcome. Please let your Marian Pilgrimages Rep know if you are interested in joining the choir. After Mass we will have an orientation tour of the Sanctuary area followed by our Group photo. After Lunch we will have free time in Lourdes before Dinner in your hotel. After Dinner we participate in the evening torchlight procession.
As early as 18th February 1858, the day of the third Apparition, one of the two people accompanying Bernadette had carried a candle. After this, Bernadette herself always came with a candle. The iconic Lourdes Torchlight Procession, known throughout the world, was introduced in Lourdes in 1863 by Father Marie-Antoine, a Capuchin also known as the ‘Saint of Toulouse’. The Marian Procession is the most popular celebration in Lourdes.
During the Procession, and depending on the day, the pilgrims recite the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful or Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. At the beginning of each decade, a few words in several languages give direction to the prayer so that it does not become a monotonous repetition. The Ave Maria and other hymns can be heard in many languages. In the serenity of the evening, each pilgrim carries his or her own personal intentions as the prayer gathers the assembly “of all nations, people and languages” with the Virgin Mary, like the disciples in the Cenacle after the Ascension of Christ. The procession always takes place regardless of the weather.
Monday 14th May
After Morning Holy Mass your guide will take you on the Stations of the Cross. After Lunch we take a walking tour to the Boly Mill, where Bernadette was born, and to the Cachot, an abandoned prison where Bernadette's family lived. Drink from the spring at the base of the Grotto. The original spring that Bernadette located is still visible, protected by a glass cover and illuminated by a light. Return to the hotel for some free time before Dinner. After Dinner we participate in the evening torchlight procession.
Tuesday 15th May
After Holy Mass in the morning we have some free time in Lourdes for private prayer and reflection or take part in some of our optional tours. After Dinner we participate in the evening torchlight procession.
Wednesday 16th May
After Holy Mass in the morning we visit to the Baths of Lourdes where we have a dip in one of the concealed marble baths, a focal point of the sanctuary, filled with "healing" spring water of Lourdes. Immerse yourself in the baths where hundreds of miraculous healings have taken place. "Go and drink at the spring and wash yourself there!” these words of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette during one of the Apparitions inspired the creation of the Baths near the Grotto in which the pilgrims are immersed. We return back to the Hotel for our lunch and enjoy some free time. After Dinner we participate in the evening torchlight procession.
Thursday 17th May
After Breakfast we have some free time around the sanctuary before we take our transfer to Toulouse airport for our return Aer Lingus flight back to Dublin. Check-in at 2pm for a departure of 3.40pm, arriving back in Dublin at 4.55pm.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.