Warriors to Lourdes
U.S. “Wounded Warriors” supported by the Knights and the Archdiocese for the Military Services, join thousands of international military pilgrims for the annual pilgrimage at French Marian shrine to offer peace to wounded, ill and injured.
More than 200 active and retired U.S. military personnel will take part in the annual Warriors to Lourdes spiritual journey dedicated to individual healing and a more peaceful world. The May 15-22 journey is timed to coincide with the 60th annual International Military Pilgrimage (PMI).
“The Marian Shrine at Lourdes is a place of hope where healings of many types take place, both physical and spiritual,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. ”It is an opportunity for active-duty personnel, veterans and their caregivers to experience an abundance of peace and consolation while in this holy place.”
The visit to Lourdes is organized by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) and supported by the Knights of Columbus. The PMI draws tens of thousands of troops, veterans, and others from around the world to the famous shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The theme for this year’s PMI is Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth).
In a message to participants on behalf of the military archdiocese, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., thanked Anderson and the Knights “who have so generously made possible the pilgrimage of many wounded warriors and infirm veterans who would not otherwise have been able to join in this important international prayer for peace.”
Archbishop Broglio urged the pilgrims to pray “for progress in international dialogue, welcome for the immigrant, and a decrease in violence in our communities and the world.”
The PMI will include an international opening ceremony and events with the color guards of many countries in attendance. The pilgrims will also have daily Mass, times of reflection and reconciliation and have the opportunity to bathe in the waters of Lourdes from which many seek spiritual, physical or emotional healing.
Support for the pilgrimage by Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., follows on a long history of the organization’s support for military troops and veterans.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of World War I. During that conflict, the Knights of Columbus established a system of “Army Huts” in America and Europe that provided social, recreational and spiritual resources for Allied servicemen, with the motto “Everybody Welcome. Everything Free.”
The PMI was inaugurated following World War II to foster “reconciliation, peace and healing” and has grown to become a prayerful and festive occasion. In addition to the military and religious pageantry of Lourdes, pilgrims also have the opportunity to meet service men and women and veterans from around the world — many attired in colorful dress uniforms.
Additional information about pilgrimage available at www.warriorstolourdes.com. Daily video and photo recaps will be available on the Warriors to Lourdes website. Also, follow our daily coverage here.