After places like Rocamadour, Senanque Abbey or Mont Saint-Michel, it is on the esplanade of the Sanctuary of Lourdes on 8th January this year, at 3.30 pm (duration 20 minutes), that the white cap will be presented to 65 soldiers gathered in their sections with their commanding officers.
A model of integration
With 1,000 recruits each year and comprising 146 nationalities, this army corps is a model of integration. At the 4th Foreign Regiment (RE), the crucible of the Foreign Legion, the volunteer recruit quickly learns that he has not simply joined an ordinary institution, but his new homeland. This is what the motto states: Legio patria nostra. Recruits are mostly from foreign countries, who in many cases have left behind very turbulent lives. Many of these men come to the Legion looking for a second chance.
In this Bernadette Year, the choice of Lourdes for the presentation of the white cap to all these young people cannot be due to chance. As Father André Cabes, Rector, recalled at a conference on 8th December, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception: “The Church is not an abstract notion for us, it is a family called to gather all people by integrating their differences.” (“Marian Church – Church in dialogue“, Saint-Bernadette hemicycle, 8th December 2018).