To join the Family of Our Lady of Lourdes is to make the grace of the Apparitions at the Grotto of Lourdes ever more present in all walks of life. United in prayer and charity, the persons and institutions concerned will enable the "noise like a gust of wind" that was heard in Lourdes on 11th February 1858, and the light that then manifested itself, to be again perceived in the hearts of many.
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.
1. THE OBJECTIVES OF THE FAMILY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES
The objectives of The Family of Our Lady of Lourdes are:
- 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.
2. THE 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 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.
3. PRACTICES 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.