Family of Our Lady of Lourdes
1 avenue Mgr Théas
65108 Lourdes Cedex
Tél. + 33 (0)5 62 42 79 01
Did you know ? The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes is the successor to the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception, canonically established in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes by the Bishop of Tarbes on 8th December 1872 and raised to the status of Archconfraternity by the Pope.
Objectives of The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes
- To honour the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary by renewing our faith in the forgiveness of sins, by recognizing that grace precedes and awaits us and is always available in the heart of Mary, who is “younger than sin”.
- To give thanks daily to the Father of Mercy
- To pray and do penance for sinners, in working for the “Christian renewal of society”, as requested by Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical The Lourdes Pilgrimage, of 2nd July 1957
- To encourage the growth of smaller churches or chapels that share in the joy of living together as brothers and sisters and to collaborate in bringing together the People of God towards the Holy City where God will be all and in all.
Members of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes brings together Christians who wish to renew the grace of their baptism, with the help of Mary. She addresses this:
- to the employees or the volunteers of the Sanctuary who have in a new way consecrated their lives to the service of Our Lady: the “active members”
- to the sick, to the retired employees or volunteers who have left their active service, but who continue to support the life of the Sanctuary by their friendship and prayer: the “members united by friendship and prayer”
- to the benefactors who provide their material assistance, the ” benefactor members “, and to those who wish to support the commitment of those less fortunate to the service of Our Lady, the “godfathers” and “godmothers”
- to the sanctuaries, communities, institutions that bear the name of Our Lady of Lourdes, Massabielle or of Saint Bernadette, the “associate members” or “affiliates”.
The deceased deceased may be enroled on a special register, and are thereby made present at prayer and at the Mass on Saturday at the Grotto.
Children under the age of 10 may be placed under the protection of Mary and Bernadette.
Pratices of the members of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes
Members of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes are committed:
- to making the sign of the Cross daily and to praying part or all of the Rosary, especially at the Marian feasts and at the anniversary of the apparitions at the Grotto, and in reciting their daily ‘Act of Hope to Mary‘
- to kissing the earth as Bernadette did by seizing daily every opportunity to make some gesture of penance in joyful humility.
- to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a month if possible, and to receive the Eucharist at least every Sunday for the loving adoration of Jesus in the Host
- to be members of a group, a small Christian Fraternity, at the service of the mission of the Church, proclaiming the Good News and praying for the Pope’s intentions
- to engage in the service of our brothers and sisters through works of mercy, and, by following the individual call of the Spirit, to contribute to the renewal of the world by the grace of the Gospel.
Your call to Grace
- Members of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes meet either physically or spiritually on pilgrimage in Lourdes for the Octave of the 15th August each year and especially for the Feast of Mary Queen of Heaven on 22nd August.
- Members are invited to donate to the Sanctuary each year an offering in accordance with their means.
- On the anniversary of their affiliation member’s benefit from the plenary indulgence in accordance with the normal conditions of the Church (confession, communion, prayer for the intentions of the Pope). Likewise on the 8th and 11th December, the 18th February, the 25th March, and on the 15th and 22nd August respectively by being faithful to the above commitments. This indulgence may be applied to souls in Purgatory.
- Each Saturday, member’s intentions are remembered during the celebration of the Mass and during the Rosary at the Grotto.
- Members of the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes will receive the blue scapular of Mary and Bernadette.
- A Newsletter unites all members by testifying to graces received in Lourdes and in their daily lives.
Organization, admission and inclusion
- The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes is centred in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
- The Family Our Lady of Lourdes has a moderator, the Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes who is assisted by a council appointed by the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes,The Superior.
- Individuals and institutions who desire to be admitted to The Family Our Lady of Lourdes may apply to the moderator. Applicants are required to provide their place and date of Baptism.
- The admission to the Family Our Lady of Lourdes is granted for three years and must be renewed. An admission receipt is issued, and the name is entered in a special register.
- Brotherhoods or fraternities with the same objectives and with the same name may be conjoined with The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes.
- Admission to The Family Our Lady of Lourdes is made by the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, following the official consent of the Ordinary of the place where the new fraternity is formed.
2019 – A Bernadette Year
The grace of mercy offered to all the friends of Lourdes
In 2019, the Bernadette year, we would especially like to offer the grace of Mercy to all the friends of Lourdes. Individuals and groups are invited to join the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes.
God, our Father rich in mercy
A pilgrimage to Lourdes is just one step on the path of life. Our entire existence is a pilgrimage to our Heavenly home. A foretaste of this paradise is already offered to us in shared love, the fruit of God’s merciful heart. He came to us as a tiny baby so that we would not be afraid of him, so that we would not be afraid of each other anymore.
In Lourdes, on 25th March, the Lady said her name to Bernadette: “I am the Immaculate Conception”. I am the creature who is completely transparent to the Light: I let the Love of the Saviour who comes to take flesh in me, flow freely. The created and the Creator are one in the womb.
From then on, sin is conquered, death is suspended. And whenever a child is immersed, through baptism, in the life of Jesus, the only Son, the resurrection is at work. Whenever, through the sacrament of Penance, we relive the grace of baptism, we are reborn. And all the consequences of the sin that we continue to drag behind us can be reduced to nothing by the superabundance of God’s gift. His indulgence is unlimited for the prodigal son who returns to him.
When we go to confession, receive communion, and pray for the intentions of the Church and the Pope, at certain special times, we receive a plenary indulgence: we let ourselves be transported into the burning heart of our God. The requirement and the gift of Love.
At Lourdes, we receive an indulgence on a variety of occasions, which are outlined below (Appendix), according to the standards of the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum of 16th July 1999.
The family of Our Lady of Lourdes
At the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on 22nd August 2016, the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes also encouraged a return to a true expression of Mercy. If we join the Family, we can take advantage of a plenary indulgence once a year, choosing from the following occasions: the anniversary of our affiliation, the most important days of the Apparitions (11th February, first apparition; 18th February, the day on which Bernadette was promised the happiness of the other world; 25th February, the day when she was instructed to make an act of penance and the discovery of the spring; and 25th March, when the Lady said her name: “I am the Immaculate Conception”), as well as 8th December and 15th August, and 22nd August, the feast of the Queenship of Mary, the day when the Association was revived.
In 2019, the Bernadette year, we would especially like to offer the grace of Mercy to all the friends of Lourdes. Individuals and groups are invited to join the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes. In doing so, we continue to live in the grace of the pilgrimage, a little like Sister Bernadette, the last person to be miraculously cured, who was healed at home, while she relived the adoration in which she had participated in the underground Basilica eight days previously.
The Lord is with us on our daily journeys. We should not miss the chance to draw closer to him. The light of Lourdes wants to reach every heart.
General plenary indulgences applicable to Lourdes
Plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit the Blessed Sacrament to worship for at least half an hour (EI 1986, conc 3).
Plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who perform the pious exercise of the Stations of the Cross (EI 1986, conc 63).
Plenary indulgence is given to the faithful who recite the Marian Rosary (EI 1986, Conc 48). Reciting only five decades is sufficient, but they must be recited without interruption.
A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit a basilica by piously reciting the Our Father and the Creed:
a) on the solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul;
b) the day of the solemnity of the Basilicas’ dedications:
Basilica of the Immaculate Conception: 8th December,
Basilica of the Rosary: 7th October,
Basilica of St. Pius X: 21st August;
(c) 2nd August, the date of the indulgence of the Portiuncula *;
d) once in the year, on a day chosen by the faithful.
* Every 2nd August, on the occasion of the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Angels celebrated in the Franciscan family, all the faithful can obtain a particular plenary indulgence, the so-called indulgence of the Portiuncula. It can be obtained from 1st August at noon until 2nd August at midnight (“Concessiones” No. 33, §1 – 2 °, 3 ° and 5 °). However, it is no longer possible to obtain several plenary indulgences on the same day: but it is always possible to obtain, in addition to a plenary indulgence, several partial indulgences on the same day.
A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful who visit the sanctuary by piously reciting the Our Father and the Creed:
a) the day of the solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes, 11th February
b) every time they participate in a shared pilgrimage.