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Monday, December 5, 2016
Pope to bring golden rose to Lourdes
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 Pope John Paul II will bring a golden rose to Lourdes when he begins his pilgrimage there tomorrow. The papal rose, which has been designed by a master craftsman, and blessed by the Pope, will be placed at the Grotto during the Pope's visit. The traditional gift dates back to the 11th century, when the Pope would give a golden rose to a king or prince each year. In recent years, the practice of giving this honour to royalty has become increasingly infrequent. However Pope John Paul has bestowed the rose to the shrines of Our Lady at Czestochowa, in Poland, and Loretto in Italy. The Holy Father arrives at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport at 11am tomorrow. He will be welcomed by Jacques Chirac, President of France. At 12.30pm the Pope will visit the Grotto where he will be welcomed by Bishop Jacques Perrier, Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes, and Fr Raymond Zambelli, Rector of the Sanctuary before be begins the Angelus. From 5.30 to 7pm the Pope will lead a Rosary Procession around different parts of the shrine with different groups of pilgrims for each decade - beginning with an opening prayer at the Grotto. The First Mystery of Light: The Baptism of the Lord, will take place in front of the Baths with members of Hospitality and sick pilgrims. The Second Mystery of Light: The Wedding at Cana will be in front of the Tent of Adoration with young people and religious. The Third Mystery of Light: Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom of God, will be beside the Church of St Bernadette, with sick and disabled pilgrims. The Fourth Mystery of Light: The Transfiguration takes place in front of the Reconciliation Chapel with priests. The Fifth Mystery of light: The Institution of the Eucharist, will be in the Rosary Square, with Altar Servers and Eucharistic Ministers. At the end of the Rosary the Holy Father will lead a meditation from the steps of the Rosary Basilica before the Torchlight Marian Procession which will be introduced by the Holy Father. On Sunday, at 10am, the Mass of the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be celebrated by the Holy Father on the Meadow and is expected to last about two and a half hours. The Holy Father will make a private visit to the Grotto in the evening before he leaves for Rome. For more information and live webcam of the Pope's visit to Lourdes see: http://www.lourdes-france.org
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