Program of Pope's Visit to Lourdes

Schedule of Events for August Trip to France

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 6, 2004 ( John Paul II will be a pilgrim among patients when he visits the Marian Shrine of Lourdes, in southern France, on Aug. 14-15.

The tentative program for his visit appears at the site set up for the Pope’s 104th international trip.

After landing at Tarbes-Oussun airport at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14, the Holy Father will be welcomed by French President Jacques Chirac.

At 1 p.m. the Pope is expected to visit the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous on Feb. 11, 1858.

From 5-7 p.m. the Holy Father will preside over a rosary procession, which will begin at the grotto. After each mystery, there will be stops in symbolic places of the shrine.

On Sunday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m., the Pope will preside over a Mass.

John Paul II will leave Lourdes around 6 p.m. to return to Rome.

The Pope’s visit to Lourdes is to mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation by Pope Pius IX of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which took place on Dec. 8, 1854.

On the official Web page, there is practical information on travel arrangements for Lourdes, as well as on the accreditation of journalists.

This will be the Holy Father’s seventh visit to France, and the second to Lourdes. His last trip to French lands was in 1997, for World Youth Day, in Paris.

Here is the official program:

Saturday, Aug. 14

— 11:30 a.m.: arrival at Tarbes-Oussun airport. Jacques Chirac, president of the French Republic welcomes the Pope.

— 1 p.m.: arrival at the grotto

— 5-7 p.m.: praying of the rosary, the mysteries of light. All through this rosary, the Pope will be surrounded by sick people, pilgrims, young people and volunteer helpers. At each station, a text will be read, followed by one Pater Noster (Our Father) and 10 Ave Maria’s (Hail Marys). After a prayer, the procession starts from the grotto.

1st stop: the baths, with volunteer helpers
1st luminous mystery, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan. Along the Gave river, then across.

2nd stop: in front of the Tent of Adoration, with young people
2nd luminous mystery, the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Through the Meadow.

3rd stop: the Church of St. Bernadette, with the sick
3rd «luminous» mystery, the Beatitudes. Crossing the Gave river.

4th stop : the statue of St. Jean Vianney, the Curé of Ars, next to the Chapel of Reconciliation, with priests
4th «luminous» mystery, Christ’s transfiguration.

5th stop: the esplanade of the Rosary Basilica, with altar boys
5th «luminous» mystery, Christ’s institution of the Eucharist.

At the end of the rosary, the Pope will address the crowd from the esplanade.

— 9 p.m.: beginning of the candlelight procession.

Sunday, Aug. 15

— 10 a.m.: papal Mass (2 1/2 hrs)

— In the afternoon, in the grotto, personal prayer of the Pope.

— 6 p.m. (approximately): the Pope leaves for Rome.

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