Forces

International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2018

01/06/2018 6:43 pm

Servicemen and women at the International Military Pilgrimage 2018

In 1958, the year of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Lourdes, the first official International Military Pilgrimage took place. It was established to promote reconciliation and peace after World War II.

Every year since, for one weekend in May, Lourdes has become a place of prayer and healing for active-duty members and veterans representing more than 40 nations.

The theme for the 60th pilgrimage was 'Pacem in Terris' - Peace on Earth - appropriate for non-wounded, wounded, ill or injured military personnel who travelled from the UK, Europe, the United States and beyond to Lourdes for a time of rest, prayer and participation in the pilgrimage, as well as celebrating being together in such a special place.

The international opening and closing ceremonies, special Masses with the military bands, Way of the Cross in small groups and a candlelight vigil with tens of thousands of troops at the sacred shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes were truly spectacular.

Here we record some of the sights and sounds of this extraordinary event and hear some of our Military Chaplains reflect on the experience, as well as some personal stories from Military personnel.

Photo Credit: SAC Katrina Knox, RAF Photographer.

Playlist

You can listen to a playlist of all our audio from the International Military Pilgrimage: