The 18, 19 and 20th May this year will mark the 60th anniversary of the International Military Pilgrimage (IMP) which takes as its theme "Peace on Earth". To to help us carry the message of reconciliation to the world, you can request an olive branch to be left at the Grotto.
All the olive branches will be placed in the Grotto on Sunday 20th May at 4.00pm during a ceremony comprising a march-past with a parade of flags of French-speaking nations, followed by musicians, and IMP pilgrims who will be placing the olive branches. The ceremony will conclude with a prayer from Father André Cabes, the Rector of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Broadcast live on TV Lourdes
The International Military Pilgrimage of Lourdes is a rally for peace. This event is the only one of its kind and brings together uniformed personnel from more than forty nations. Its goal: to work and pray for peace. The first ever International Military Pilgrimage took place in June 1958. It brought together 40,000 pilgrims from 11 countries. The bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, Bishop Théas declared: "In spite of the differences of languages, of countries, of traditions, you are all brothers!" For the PMI in 2017, Pope Francis wrote to those taking part: "In these troubled times, it is essential to remember that peace is a gift for which men must never stop asking".
On Sunday 20th May, the International Mass for the IMP 2018 will be broadcast live on TV Lourdes, the Sanctuary’s internet TV, from 9.30am. Let us be united in prayer with pilgrims of the IMP: together, with the grace of God, let us become builders of peace.