Friday 31st May 2019, the Feast of the Visitation and the Day of Prayer for Life

Published on 23 May 2019 - 09:16

On Friday 31st May, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Visitation. Since 2014, for the diocese of Tarbes and Lourdes and the sanctuary of Lourdes more particularly, this day has been dedicated to the Day of Prayer for Life.

Bishop Brouwet, bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, explains the meaning of this call for prayer for Life, on the day of the Visitation: “On 31st May, we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation. Mary comes to meet her cousin Elisabeth who is pregnant. John the Baptist leaps with joy in his mother’s womb in the presence of the Messiah. This Feast of the Visitation is the Day of Prayer for Life in the diocese of Tarbes and Lourdes. Together we say the rosary for this intention, praying to the Lord, the Master of Life.


  • 11:00 am : Mass for Life at the Grotto, presided over by Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes (animated by the Carmelite Sisters of Bagnères), live on TV Lourdes.
  • 3:30 pm : Rosary for Life at the Grotto, with special intentions for life, live on TV Lourdes.
  • 9:00 pm : Marian torchlight procession, presided over by Bishop Nicolas Brouwet, with special intentions for life.

The Way of Compassion and the Grotto of the Two Marys

In Lourdes, there is a little-known place where one of the vocations is to pray for life. On the way down from the Way of the Cross of the Espelugues, is the “grotto of the two Marys”. To get there, you follow the “way of compassion”, open to all those who are in search of inner consolation. An accompanied visit is offered especially to mothers who have lost a child: “Welcoming life cannot only be a personal matter. It is a community that welcomes life. It’s a whole society that is welcoming or not to life. The Day of Prayer for Life is first and foremost an occasion to give thanks for the life that God gives us each day.”

Reference point

The feast of the Visitation celebrates the visit of the Virgin Mary, pregnant with Jesus, to her cousin Elisabeth, who was carrying John the Baptist in her womb. It was during this visit that Mary proclaimed the Magnificat prayer which sprang from her exultation: “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour, because he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness.”