The rosary is one of the many highlights when making a pilgrimage to Lourdes. The evening candle-lit rosary procession is quite moving as pilgrims pray and sing. Pilgrims also can visit the Rosary Basilica which contain beautiful mosaics and depictions of the rosary mysteries. Our Lady donned a rosary when she appeared. The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the anniversary of the first apparition is February 11th.
You may wish to pray a novena to Our Lady of Lourdes after the 11th, because she told Bernadette to continue visiting the Grotto for 15 days. These rosary meditations will help you incorporate the message of Lourdes with each mystery. If you are unable to go to Lourdes, you can feel connected to the apparition site by visiting their Live feed and praying at the grotto with these meditations from the comfort of your own home.
The Joyful Mysteries
Our Lady received a message from the Archangel Gabriel who announced to her that she was going to be the mother of the savior. Just as Mary received a heavenly visitor, so too does St. Bernadette, and Mary communicates a message to Bernadette and the world. Let us pray that we might listen to the messages God has given us in many and varied ways.
Mary learns from the archangel that her cousin Elizabeth is with child. With this knowledge, she goes in haste to visit and stay with Elizabeth in the last months of her pregnancy. At Lourdes, many people come to serve the sick and aid them as they seek healing. By her apparition, Mary came to bring healing for those who were sick in body and soul. Let us pray in gratitude for the many volunteers who serve at the Lourdes shrine and that we might be more attentive to the needs of the sick around us.
Jesus is born in Bethlehem as the King of Peace. The angel announces to the shepherds, “Peace on earth.” A pilgrim visiting Lourdes experiences a great sense of peace while in prayer, especially at the Grotto. Let us pray that we too may experience peace in this moment.
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple and offer Him to the Lord. In Lourdes, a pilgrim presents themselves to the Lord and Our Lady. Just as Our Lady and St. Joseph bring Jesus, let us pray that all families will bring their children into the presence of the Lord and foster prayer in their family.
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
Jesus was lost for a few days and is found in the temple. Many pilgrims find their way back to God in Lourdes or while on any pilgrimage. At Lourdes, they pray at the Grotto and then might feel compelled to go to confession and return to Mass. Let us pray for all who are away from the Church, that by Mary’s prayers they may find their way back to the Lord.
The Luminous Mysteries
Baptism of the Lord
At Lourdes Our Lady told St. Bernadette to dig in the ground and discover the miraculous spring. This water has brought healing and comfort to many people over the years. In this mystery, we recall Our Lord entering the waters of the Jordan and receiving baptism from John. Let us pray that God will continue to use his gift of water in Lourdes for healing, and the font of baptism for Christian initiation and the forgiveness of sins.
Wedding Feast of Cana
Pilgrims come from all over the world to pray before the Grotto of Massabielles. They bring to Our Lady their needs and those of the sick. At the Wedding Feast of Cana, Mary noticed the need of the couple at Cana. Let us ask Our Lady to notice the needs of our life and bring them to the attention of Jesus.
Proclamation of the Kingdom
At Lourdes, Our Lady said, “Penance, Penance, Penance.” At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he said, “Repent and believe in the gospel.” Let us pray that we might perform suitable acts of penance our sins and those of the whole world.
Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette at Lourdes praying and speaking with her. When Jesus goes up Mount Tabor, Moses and Elijah appear to him and speak with him. Let us pray that we will be open to the words of Our Lord and Blessed Lady to guide our life.
Institution of the Holy Eucharist
Mary requested a Church to be built at Lourdes. Today, the sacraments are celebrated at this holy site. Let us recall the Lord’s Last Supper where he instituted the Holy Eucharist and commanded the apostles to do this in remembrance of Him. We pray for renewed Eucharistic devotion.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
Agony in the Garden
Throughout her life, St. Bernadette strove to do God’s will. She did this by entering the Sisters of Charity. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to the Father, not my will but yours be done. Let us pray that we will do God’s will each day.
Scourging at the Pillar
St. Bernadette experienced criticisms of others, a type of suffering she had to endure for the sake of God’s will. Jesus, to fulfil the Father’s plan, underwent his scourging and torture at the pillar. Let us pray for perseverance through our trials and sufferings.
Crowning with Thorns
St. Bernadette and her family experienced trouble with the government over the apparitions. Jesus, in his crowning, is mocked by those who do not understand His kingship. Let us pray for governments, that their leaders will allow the free practice of religion.
Jesus carries His cross
St. Bernadette suffered on account of her illnesses all throughout her life as a child and as a religious sister. The sick visit Lourdes after years of carrying the heavy cross of illness. Let us ask the Lord to help the sick to carry their crosses daily and unite their suffering to that of Jesus’s for the salvation of the world.
Jesus entrusted Mary to the care of John from the cross when he said, “Behold your mother.” As we spiritually visit Lourdes, let us present ourselves at the Grotto, and there hear the words of Jesus, “Behold your Mother.” And as we do, we know that she is our mother and intercessor in our time of need and at the hour of our death.
The Glorious Mysteries
St. Bernadette died in the odor of sanctity after living a life dedicated to God. Jesus’s rising from the dead gives hope to us all that after death, we will live. Let us pray for our family and friends who have died, that they received the assistance of Mary at the hour of their death and now are able to enjoy the kingdom of Heaven.
Our Lady entrusted to St. Bernadette her message at Lourdes and she communicated it to the right people so to this day we would know what Our Lady said. As Jesus ascends to Heaven, he commissions the apostles to spread the gospel. Let us pray that we might be faithful messengers of the gospel in our world today.
Mary was present at that moment when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the Upper Room. We pray that as the spirit led St. Bernadette in her decisions, actions, and discernment, that we too might live a life in the spirit.
Assumption of Mary
At the end of her life, Jesus chose to bring Mary body and soul into heaven. Out of her love and concern for her spiritual children, she comes to visionaries like St. Bernadette with messages to help us on our journey to the kingdom. Let us pray that after living the gospel and Our Lady’s messages, we might be found worthy of the promises of eternal life.
Queenship of Mary
In the scriptures, the Queen was the mother of the son, Mary is our Queen because she is the mother of Jesus. The Queen Mother would always listen to the needs of the common people and then advocate before the throne of her son. Let us ask Mary to listen to us who cry out to her as the poor banished children of Eve. May she bring our needs and concerns before the throne of her son, especially all the petitions people have carried in their hearts to Lourdes.
Editor’s note: We recommend the article “How a Thief in Lourdes Taught Me a Lesson on Repentance,” which is an excerpt from Fr. Looney’s book, A Lenten Journey With Mother Mary. Also check out Fr. Looney’s new book, How They Love Mary, which will be released in April 2022.