- Aug 7, 2020
One of the Catholic Church’s holiest sites, Lourdes, is holding its first-ever online pilgrimage on Thursday, to mark the anniversary of claims by 19th-century girl Bernadette Soubirous that the Virgin Mary appeared to her.
An international virtual pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Lourdes, France, will “affirm the power of prayer” against COVID-19, said the shrine’s vice rector.
Organizers are presenting this as the first world-wide online pilgrimage, and the scope is to help address a $9 million deficit.
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the papal vicar of Rome who spent 10 days in a hospital with COVID-19, will lead a diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, in August.
On Saturday, Pope Francis will be praying a rosary to implore Mary’s intercession and protection amid the pandemic.
Every year since 1953, Catholics from the Diocese of Middlesbrough – located in the north of England – have participated in a pilgrimage to Lourdes. This year they are doing it virtually.