Fratello – 60 moments of grace

Instituted by Pope Francis in 2017, the World Day of the Poor brought together more than 1500 people at the Sanctuary of Lourdes, on 17th November. On the initiative of the association We are Fratello, those experiencing all forms of poverty came together to talk and pray together.

Fratello – 60 moments of grace

“You are the treasure of the Church!”

A video relayed the speech of Pope Francis who, a few weeks earlier, had encouraged the poor of the world to come to Lourdes. He spoke personally to them, “You who are little, who are poor, fragile, you are the Church’s treasure. I need all of you, brothers and sisters, who stand at the foot of the cross.”

“Spiritual healing is the greatest miracle”

Franciscan Sister Bernadette Moriau, 70th Miraculous Healing in Lourdes, also spoke, “God is manifest in frailty. Some are healed in their bodies like me, but many are healed spiritually. This is the greatest miracle. I give thanks: the Lord did wonders for me, holy is his name.”

“Contemplate each other!”

The rector of the Sanctuary, Bishop Oliver Ribadeau Dumas, recalled that Jesus identified with the smallest, the poorest: “Adopt this contemplative way of looking. Let yourself be amazed, surprised. For in contemplating one another, you will discover something of God.”

In the footsteps of Bernadette

To fully understand the message of Lourdes, we must get to know Bernadette Soubirous, the poorest, favoured by Heaven. Thus, the Fratello pilgrims went in large numbers to the Cachot, the unsanitary, disused prison where the Soubirous family lived at the time of the Apparitions.

“Be witnesses of God!”

The Holy Father recalls that Jesus was insulted, trampled on, humiliated, mistreated. But Jesus gave us the best gift, his Mother. Pope Francis asks everyone to pray, to “nestle against her”. At Lourdes, everyone can open their heart at the Grotto of Massabielle and lay down their burdens at the feet of Mary, who, the Pope recalls, is “the wide-open door of the Church”. Always following the recommendations of the Pope: “Mary gives Jesus to us and leads us to Him”, great numbers of pilgrims went to adoration and received the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. Then, filled with new strength, they were able to warm their hearts with the words of the Pope: “Finally, when you return, do not leave as you came. Return with hope, be witnesses of God’s love around you. Tell the world what your treasure is: Jesus.