Pope claims to carry 'hopes of world’ to Lourdes

11th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

CASTELGANDOLFO, Italy, Aug 11 (AFP) - Pope John Paul II said Wednesday he will carry the entire world's hopes for peace when he visits the shrine to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in south-western France at the weekend.

CASTELGANDOLFO, Italy, Aug 11 (AFP) - Pope John Paul II said Wednesday he will carry the entire world's hopes for peace when he visits the shrine to the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in south-western France at the weekend.  

"I will carry in my heart the thanks and supplications of all the Church, and the entire world, which only in God can find peace and salvation," the pontiff told hundreds of pilgrims at his weekly general audience in the courtyard of his summer residence outside Rome.  

The pope, who is 84 and stricken with Parkinson's disease, will make a two-day visit to the famous shrine on Saturday and Sunday, the 104th foreign visit in his nearly 26 years as pontiff.  

John Paul II told pilgrims at Castelgandolfo he would take part in three public ceremonies in Lourdes - leading the rosary prayer on Saturday afternoon, a candlelit procession that evening and a mass on Sunday.  

"I consider the possibility of returning to Lourdes as a special gift of providence," he said.

He last visited the shrine, famous for the visions of the Virgin experienced by a young peasant girl, 21 years ago.  

The visit marks the 150th anniversary of the 1854 proclamation by Pope Pius IX of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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