‘Help Us To Be A Community!’ Pope Asks Virgin of Lourdes

The Holy Father’s Video Message Today, on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11

Help Us To Be A Community
Pope prays Rosary before Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican ©️ Vatican Media

“We ask the Virgin to help us to be a community. Mother, help us to be a community! –so that we come together as a community. Encounter always means opening oneself to others; the opposite of encounter is to close one’s heart. Mother, may our hearts not be closed, because egoism is a moth that eats the heart inside,” said Pope Francis in a video message on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, celebrated today, Friday, February 11, 2022

“You have come together to prepare and celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. You do so as pilgrimaging with the soul and asking the Virgin for a very great grace: Mother, help us to be a community that goes forth to encounter all,” continued the Holy Father

The Pontiff asked Mary for help “to be a community that goes forth to encounter all, to encounter others, but also to go forth to be encountered because an encounter is mutual, an encounter isn’t alms, it’s to bet on a style, to walk together, to escape from ‘loneliness’ and isolation, to be next to others, with friends, with the family, with the People of God, all together praying before the Virgin.”

Finally, the Holy Father said: “Dear brothers and sisters, I unite myself to you in this celebration of the Shrine. I pray for you, and, please, I ask you to do the same for me. And I send you my Blessing. May Jesus bless you abundantly and the Virgin accompany you by the hand. Happy feast!”

Patroness of the Sick

 The Pope’s message was published last January 4, 2022, on the occasion of the 30th World Day of the Sick, which is observed today, Liturgical Memorial of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of Lourdes, on the theme “’Be merciful as your Father is merciful’ (Luke 6:36). To stand beside those who suffer on a path of charity.” The Pontiff also expressed the hope that the Day “may help us to grow in service and closeness to the sick and their families.

“At the General Audience on February 9, Pope Francis asked that we remember “our dear sick, so that all are assured health care and spiritual accompaniment.” The Bishop of Rome asked for prayers as well for “our brothers and sisters, for their families, and for all health care and pastoral workers, and for all those that look after them.”

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester