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Lourdes in rain, in sun and at night

56th international pilgrimage brings thousands; British Association is oversubscribed with members, volunteers, malades

Lourdes, 6 May 2014

Lourdes, the marial procession wends its way

Lourdes, the marial procession wends its way

It rained and it blew and then the sun shone on the 56th international Lourdes pilgrimage for the Order of Malta. But the typical Pyrenees spring did not deter over 6,000 members, volunteers and malades. 

The British Association’s bookings were over subscribed, with strong support from all the  members and volunteers, and especially many younger ones, who turned out in high numbers and were invaluable with their work with the disabled pilgrims. 

A highlight was the candlelight procession, weaving its way slowly as evening turned to night and all gathered in front of the Notre Dame du Rosaire de Lourdes basilica. 
Photo: Julian Andrews

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.