Travelling on pilgrimage enables us to enrich and renew ourselves spiritually connecting ourselves to God by removing us from routines of daily life. The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult, if not possible, for people to travel nationally and internationally reducing the number of individuals and groups able to journey on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Between September and October 2022 St Bernadette will journey to us, making the grace of pilgrimage available to people across England, Wales, and Scotland, and offering an important opportunity to those who might not have been able to travel on pilgrimage otherwise.
“We’re delighted that the blessed relics of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes will be hosted at our very own St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth enabling thousands of local people from across our Diocese to experience the special gifts and pleasures of Lourdes that this amazing opportunity brings,” said Bishop Philip Egan of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.
“We have a full programme planned to cover the 24 hours from when the relics arrive on Thursday 8th September at 0930, until they leave us at 10am on the 9th September to include a mass for the anointing of the sick, vespers and a torchlight procession in the presence of local dignitaries, the rosary and veneration and an all-night vigil. All are welcome, “added Bishop Philip.
We can expect many graces from this visit including healing, conversion, and the wonderful discovery of vocation. Thousands are expected to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the relics locally and more information is available about timings and booking on the St John’s Cathedral website https://www.portsmouthcatholiccathedral.org.uk or by emailing email@example.com.
Notes for Editors
1 The address of the St John’s Cathedral is St John’s Catholic Cathedral, Bishop’s House, Bishop Crispian Way, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3HG
2 The relics leave Lourdes on 1st September and travel through France via the Euro tunnel to the Diocese of Westminster visiting Westminster Cathedral from 3-5 September. They will then visit the Roman Catholic Diocese of the Bishopric Diocese of the Forces, Cathedral Church of St Michael & St George, Aldershot before coming to our Cathedral.
3 The relics will then go on to the Dioceses of Plymouth, Clifton, Menevia, Cardiff, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Liverpool, Salford, Catholic Syro-Malabar Eparchy, Lancaster, Carfin Grotto, Scotland, Hexham and Newcastle, Wrexham and Leeds, Hallam, Middlesborough, Nottingham, Birmingham, Northampton, East Anglia, Brentwood, Arundel & Brighton, Southwark and returning to Westminster where they will visit Wormwood Scrubs and the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Family of London. They will return to France on 1st November.