Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Lourdes 1: or, where have I been for the last week?

Zero and I have just returned from a 7 night stay in Lourdes, a stay intended as both a pilgirmage and a holiday. Our first day, spent in Pau, was somewhat damp to begin with and then got brighter.

In visiting the main Church in the town centre we found leaflets advertising perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Church of St Therese, and duly walked the kilometre or two to reach the said Church. Perpetual adoration was begun in November 2009 at the request of the Bishop of the diocese (Bayonne, Lescar and Orlon - Mgr Aillet), to pray particularly for priestly vocations.

When we arrived, there was no-one present before the Lord (oops! - and this despite what appeared to be an efficient system of regularly committed adorers and substitutes). We stayed for thirty minutes, and someone arrived to take over as we left. I signed the book they had for "occasional adorers", adding the word "Angleterre" after our names.

My own photograph of the exterior of the Church is below; there are some photographs of the interior of the Church here.

This is my photograph of the Adoration Chapel, accessible from the entrance area of the Church, on the right.

The leaflet for the perpetual adoration contains the following quotation from Cardinal Tauran, who is, I believe, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
Un monde sans adoration, serait un monde a la seule mesure de l'homme ... Un monde sans adoration n'est pas seulement irreligieux; c'est un monde inhumain.  [A world without adoration, that would be a world whose only measure is man ... A world without adoration is not only irreligious; it is a world that is inhuman.]
After our time of adoration, we betook ourselves to C&A. The branch in Pau is housed in a modern shopping precinct and lacked the historic grandeur of the last C&A branch we visited - in Prague, on Wenceslaus Square. The balcony of the building that now houses C&A in Prague was the balcony on which Vaclav Havel and Dubcek appeared at a key moment in the "velvet revolution".

Now, which constituted the real pilgrimage - the walk out to St Therese and back or the visit to C&A - is a moot point!

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