Pope looks forward to meeting Lourdes pilgrims

10th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Pope Benedict XVI will be in Lourdes this weekend to mark 150 years since peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous saw visions of the Virgin Mary.

10 September 2008

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he would be going to France this week as "a messenger of peace and fraternity".

During the four day trip, Benedict will go to Paris and take part in commemorations in Lourdes to mark 150 years since peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous saw visions of the Virgin Mary, according to Catholic belief.

"I am coming to you as a messenger of peace and fraternity," the head of the Catholic Church said in a message read at a general audience at the Vatican.

"Your country is known to me. Several times I have had the joy of going and appreciating its generous welcoming tradition, its tolerance and the strength of its Christian faith like its spiritual and human culture."
   
The pope will go to Lourdes after holding talks in Paris with President Nicolas Sarkozy and attending other events. "It will be a great joy for me to be united with the crowds of pilgrims," he said.

Benedict will be in France from 12 – 15 September.

[AFP / Expatica]

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