2013 Lourdes Pilgrimage with Malades
This year marks the 900th anniversary of the Papal Bull signed by Pope Paschal II on 15th February 1113 which placed the Hospital founded by the Amalfi knights for pilgrims in Jerusalem, under the aegis of the Church, granting it the right to freely elect its superiors without interference from other lay or religious authorities. By virtue of this Papal Bull, the knights of the Hospital became a lay-religious order now known in full as the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. For more of this history, please click on the History button on the left.
To mark this auspicious date, a number of our knights and dames were invited to the week long celebration in Rome by Pope Benedict the 16th. For more information, please see the previous story below
This is also the year that the Singapore Association of the Order of Malta make their annual pilgrimage to our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France at the same time that members of the order from around the world converge there. This year, members of the Singapore Association were accompanied by 7 malades, their caregivers and other friends and associates of the order. These and our chaplain, Archbishop Nicholas Chia, make up the party of over 40 people.
All members participated fully in the activities of the shrine from going to confession to attendance at the daily masses. From queueing up to take a bath at the healing spring waters at the grotto to stations of the cross narrated from Mother Mary’s viewpoint. There were stories of personal spiritual growth and peace shared during meals and at the sharing session. It was also an eye opener for many of the first timers to Lourdes during this, the Order’s annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, to see how the Order carries out its twin objective of “Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum”, that is, “Defence of the Faith and assistance to the poor and the suffering”. To recount the many wonderful stories and experiences would be beyond the scope of this article. It is best experienced in person. When we make our next pilgrimage in May of 2015 “Come and see” and experience for yourself.