Presented in 1912 by a French diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, this group of figures at St Joseph’s gate invites us to reflect on the title of Our Lady as Health of the Sick.
At the centre of the group is a young man on a stretcher. In his frailty he turns his eyes towards Our Lady at the Grotto – as thousand of pilgrims young and old have done down the years.
Supporting the young man are three members of what we call the Hospitalité – a nurse, a brancardier and a priest.
The nurse is straightening pillows and making him comfortable. The brancardier kneels attentive to his duty steadying the stretcher while the priest prays with and for the young man.
In Lourdes and especially through the sacraments, the hospital pilgrim finds receives the grace and strength to carry their illness with dignity, courage and hope.
We pass these figures on our way to and from our work in the hospital. May our work ensure that all our pilgrims enjoy the strength and hope which Our Lady offers here in Lourdes.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, pray for us!