Pope sends envoy to Lourdes

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Pope sends envoy to Lourdes

ansa.it

Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to Lourdes to accentuate the spiritual over the business side of the famed Marian shrine.

Msgr Antoine Hérouard, the auxiliary bishop of Lille, will be tasked with privileging the spiritual role of the shrine to Mary over "the management and financial sphere," said Vatican media director Andrea Tornielli.

Hérouard has been given a special brief "for the care of the pilgrims".

Vatican watchers said the move was like putting Lourdes under a special commissioner.The pope recently made a similar move on the shrine of Medjugorie in Bosnia.

In 1858 Lourdes rose to prominence in France and abroad due to the Marian apparitions claimed to have been seen by the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous, who was later canonized. Shortly thereafter the city with the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes became one of the world's most important sites of pilgrimage and religious tourism.

Today Lourdes hosts around six million visitors every year from all corners of the world. This constant stream of pilgrims and tourists transformed quiet Lourdes into the second most important center of tourism in France, second only to Paris, and the third most important site of international Catholic pilgrimage after Rome and the Holy Land. As of 2011, of French cities only Paris had more hotel capacity.

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 11:49
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