Arrival in Lourdes! After a long day of travel, we finally arrived in the blessed city of Lourdes, France. Immediately, we sensed the strong maternal presene of Our Lady. What a gift that we have made it to be with Our Lady to enter into her Heart and School to begin our formation under her care and guidance.
Our Eucharistic Lord greeted us, as we arrived just as the daily Eucharistic procession was beginning. The students were overwhelmed to see the splendor of the universal Church as she gathered to adore her Lord, care for her treasures - the sick, and unite themselves in honoring our Blessed Mother. They were moved to understand how human suffering opens the heart to receive graces of interior conversion.
We celebrated Mass next in St. Gabriel Chapel. Through the Gospel and the homily, the Lord exhorted us to be willing to die to self so that others may have life. In the evening, we came together with pilgrims from all over the world, uniting ours joys, sufferings, and prayers in the recitation of the Rosary, a procession of the Blessed Mother, and the singing of hymns - in all languages.
The night ended by greeting Our Lady in the Grotto, giving her thanks for the work she has begun and will continue to do. Our Lady has begun to prepare our hearts for an ecclesial experience with the univrsal Church, as the World Youth Day encounter approaches.