My Pilgrimage in France continues. I find it funny that most people come to France primarily for the Paris attractions. Not for my group though, being in Paris were just added benefits. Our main purpose is to visit Lourdes, where Saint Bernadette had apparitions of Mary in a small grotto next to a river in 1858. Such humble beginnings have transformed the site into a grand shrine devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes. This shrine has been a place a numerous miracles over many years especially of healing. The water has become famous for its healing properties. Every single day people flock to this site with the hope of being healed by bathing in the water.
We started the day early to catch a flight from Paris to Lourdes. Anticipation filled the air with each one of us holding special intentions in our hearts, secret hopes that we desire Mary to answer. I confess my deepest desires were rather selfish. I intended to bring the desires I have had since I was a child. The find a loving husband and to start a family. Simple in nature but it is something I have felt is my true vocation. This is also a desire I have feared might never come into volition. However, as sat in the line awaiting my time to enter into the water drew closer my mind, heart and soul began to shift. It felt wrong to place my prayer intentions only on myself. To be honest I already had the faith that Jesus would fulfill my deep desires with or without receiving the bath and there might be more urgent prayer intentions to focus on.
Yesterday, we visited the Sanctuary of Lisieux were we spent our time devoted to learning about the life of Saint Therese and here family. It was also Consecration day for the Pilgrims who went through 33 Days to Morning Glory by Father Gaitley. For those who don’t know, Marian Consecration is a way to give yourself entirely to Jesus through Mary. Through this Consecration you surrender all your entire self to Mary for her to use in whatever way she wishes to further glorify the kingdom of God. This can be difficult to do especially for me who naturally wants to maintain control. Nevertheless, I sincerely felt called to France to do this. After my Consecration I ended up in the gift shop filled with Saint Therese souvenirs. I was drawn to a simple key chain. A small pink rose (a symbol for Saint Therese), I heard a quiet voice tell me to buy it. I struggled with this at first. I knew it would be hard to give this key chain to the person it was meant for, she is a coworker. She is a sweet and in someways very innocent girl but she a victim of this fallen world. While she appears as a girl herself yet she has a daughter and is addicted to marijuana. Before leaving on this trip she asked me to bring her back a French husband. She was serious about it too, listing off all the attributes this husband should have. I promised I would bring her back something even if it was not a husband. I have been working with her for sometime but Mary was definitely working to strengthen our relationship during the weeks leading to this trip. Through out this trip Mary continues to place her on my heart. In that gift shop and after my Consecration I saw why.
Sitting waiting to go into the bath I released my selfish intentions and placed all my time and devotion on this girl. I truly believe that Mary will be able transform her and her life for good. When the time came to enter the bath I was asked to say my prayer intentions. I prayed for her and went down into the water. There are no coincidences and I believe that my graces I have received Mary wishes to use to reach this girl with the help of Saint Therese of Lisieux. Oh and by the way this girl’s name is also Therese.