Why the Pope Went to Lourdes
Cardinal Barbarin Points to the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception
LOURDES, France, AUG. 18, 2004 (Zenit) - Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon presided this year over the traditional national pilgrimage Aug. 15 to Lourdes, which on this occasion had a special guest: John Paul II.
In this interview, the 53-year-old primate of France reflects on the reason for the papal visit, the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and its fruits.
Q: What would you say to a youth who asked you about the mystery of the Immaculate Conception?
Cardinal Barbarin: Let us begin with the voice that was heard when Jesus came out of the waters of the Jordan: "This is my beloved Son." What God desired to give to men took place through Jesus, the sole Mediator. We receive everything -- the forgiveness of sins, justice and peace, purity of heart, holiness, victory over death -- through baptism, which is our rebirth.
"Do not marvel that I say to you, 'You must be born anew,'" Jesus said to Nicodemus. So we understand why God willed to give this gift beforehand to the Mother of his Son. Even before God saved the world with the passion and resurrection of Jesus, at the moment that Mary's life was conceived in her mother's womb, she was "all holy." There was nothing that stained or injured her.
That is why, in his greeting, the angel Gabriel said: "Hail, full of grace." No matter how much we study and analyze her life, we will see nothing but love.
Q: What is the essential message of the Pope's presence in Lourdes?
Cardinal Barbarin: John Paul II came on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by his predecessor, Blessed Pius IX.
He has helped us to go deeper into all that of our faith which relates to the Mother of God. After recalling her role in our salvation, the Second Vatican Council has taught us to see the place that Mary has in the Church and in men's journey.
One of our canticles mentions this theme: "She is the first on the way." Thanks to Mary's example and life, the Holy Father helps us to see all the light that God can infuse in a human heart. It is something that encourages us and fills us with hope.
The Pope also prayed the rosary with us, meditating on the luminous mysteries which he proposed two years ago. Jesus is "the light of the world." All those who approach Christ, who love and follow him, who participate in his mission and passion, reflect this light in the world. In this instance we can also say that Mary is the first.
We have also seen the Holy Father as a sick person among the sick, who come every year to Lourdes in great numbers. This has stimulated his hope and helps us to love the sick with greater tenderness and to give them the role that belongs to them in our society, above all in our Christian communities.
Q: What impetus can this event give to the life of the Catholic Church in France?
Cardinal Barbarin: One would have to be a fortuneteller to answer. I would say that when the Christian people gather around their pastor they are stimulated, as their unity and communion in faith is manifested.
The preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of the Church, are good nourishment for our hearts and minds. The Church always needs to be awakened.
I also believe very much in Mary's grace proper to this day and place: What sweetness and humility in the events of Lourdes and on little Bernadette's face! What a beautiful feast August 15 is, the solemnity of Mary's assumption, which is a spiritual summit in midsummer.
It is the day in which we hear the Gospel of the Magnificat proclaimed, a totally pure cry of joy. Mary exults because she sees everything that God does among us, all that he allows her to experience, she who is so little.
https://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Pope, Lourdes, Pilgrimage, France, Immaculate, Conception
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Death threats for opposing gay marriage? Florist appeals to Supreme Court
- St. Abdiesus: Saint of the Day for Sunday, April 22, 2018
- Daily Reading for Monday, April 23rd, 2018 HD Video
- Five things Catholics can do to promote international religious freedom
- Daily Readings for Sunday, April 22, 2018
- California bill that could BAN THE BIBLE advances
- Has California just voted to ban the BIBLE? HD Video
- Daily Reading for Sunday, April 22nd, 2018 HD
- Global Warming threatening Europe with colder weather HD
- The Memorare HD
- God Alone Suffices HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education