This is the first time (since the pilgrimage began in 1948) that the Meath diocesan gathering at Our Lady’s Shrine will not be taking place.
Like many other events this year, the pilgrimage which was due to take place from Monday 14 – Friday 19 September 2020 is a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have all been affected and saddened since March by the suspension or cancellation of many aspects of life, work, travel and times of faith.
These sacrifices and inconveniences are insignificant when we consider the many people around the country who have suffered bereavement, illness or isolation since March. We keep them and their families in prayer at this time.
Masses and devotions which were live-streamed during many weeks allowed families to keep connected with the weekly and daily rhythm of prayer. This is still the best that some elderly and cocooning families can do at present.
The RTÉ Mass at 10:30am on Tuesday 15 September will include a mention and prayers for the pilgrims from the diocese of Meath who miss their visit to Lourdes this year.
On Thursday next 17 September, a candle will be lighting at the Grotto for the Meath pilgrimage group. Pilgrims’ intentions will also be included during the English Rosary at 2pm (Irish time) and the 4pm Mass which follows later that afternoon.
During the lockdown in France, the sanctuary chaplains maintained a rhythm of daily rosary and Mass at the Grotto. Candles at the Grotto and petitions placed at the Shrine display the continual prayer of pilgrims from many parts of the world.
These devotions brought great hope to those who tuned in online.
Daily Rosary is livestreamed from the Grotto at 2pm (Irish time).
Daily Mass is offered in English at 4pm (Irish time).
Some images and videos from last year’s pilgrimage are available at www.dioceseofmeath.ie/lourdes2019.