Catedral of Our Lady of the Angels
July 13st to August 4th
St. Bernadette relics complete first tour of U.S.
Venerated by over 300,000 people in 28 dioceses, 40 parishes, from Miami to Los Angeles
The reliquary of St. Bernadette has finished its United States tour, traveling over 9,000 miles from its starting place in April in the Archdiocese of Miami to its last stop in August in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Over 300,000 people visited the relics during the tour. Thousands traveled to the nearest parish location on the tour – mostly churches named after Our Lady of Lourdes or St. Bernadette. Some traveled hours to venerate the relics, others flew in from around the world.
Msgr. Kenneth Schwanger, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Miami, was invited by the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame de Lourdes to fly to Los Angeles for the relics’ final stop. He concelebrated two Masses alongside Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and the newly ordained bishop of Tarbes, France, Jean-Marc Micas, a member of the Sulpician community. Tarbes is the French diocese in which the Sanctuary of Lourdes is located.
During the tour, St. Bernadette visited 28 dioceses, 40 parishes, one hospital and one convent. Over 265 gallons of Lourdes water was distributed; 60 Lourdes virtual pilgrimages were conducted; and thousands received the sacrament of reconciliation.
“We saw the impact of St. Bernadette throughout the tour,” said Pauline Broque, Lourdes tour coordinator. “The spiritual fruits were many: inner healing, return to faith, strengthening of faith and vocations, and fraternity within communities, developing many volunteer opportunities.”
In Los Angeles, Msgr. Schwanger and Bishop Micas had the opportunity to discuss the highlights of the tour and to discern future opportunities.
“St. Bernadette’s first visit to the United States brought many graces of Lourdes to the United States,” said Msgr. Schwanger. “Clergy who have parishes dedicated to St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes saw more people than ever, and this happened time and time again. Those parishes saw a deepening of their relationship and the ministry of Lourdes. I am sure they are still unpacking all the graces, and perhaps thinking of forming their own hospitalités and going on pilgrimage.”
The Hospitalité de Miami, based at Our Lady of Lourdes, organizes the monthly processions at the parish and the twice annual archdiocesan pilgrimages to the shrine in France. Members take the sick to bathe in the miraculous waters where many have experienced healings, both physical and spiritual. It is one of only two hospitalités in the U.S.
“After St. Bernadette’s relics visited American soil, we give thanks to God, not only for her and for the graces obtained during this pilgrimage, but we give thanks to God for the hope placed in hearts,” said Father Jean-Marcel Rossini, chaplain of the sanctuary in Lourdes, France. “Everyone can become a saint if they allow themselves to be inhabited and transformed by Christ, as was verified in the life of Bernadette who responded to Mary’s call.”