As Pope Benedict prepares to travel to Lourdes, this podcast recalls the last visit of Pope John Paul II to the famous shrine.

The discussion in this podcast addresses both the example of the infirm, suffering Papal pilgrim and what the message of Lourdes offers every believer.

[display_podcast] This podcast made available from Vatican Radio

Greeting of Pope John Paul II to the Sick

14 August 2004 at the Grotto of Massabielle

Here at this Grotto of Massabielle, I wish first of all to greet the sick who come in ever greater numbers to this Shrine, those who have accompanied them, their caregivers and their families.

I am here with you, dear brothers and sisters, as a pilgrim to Our Lady. I make my own your prayers and your hopes. With you I share a time of life marked by physical suffering, yet not for that reason any less fruitful in God’s wondrous plan. With you I pray for all those who trust in your prayers.

In carrying out my apostolic ministry I have always trusted greatly in the offerings, prayers and sacrifices of the suffering. During this pilgrimage I ask you to join me in offering to God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, all the intentions of the Church and of the world.

Dear brothers and sisters who are sick, how I would like to embrace each and every one of you with affection, to tell you how close I am to you and how much I support you. I now do so in spirit, entrusting you to the maternal love of the Mother of the Lord and entreating her to obtain for all of us the blessings and consolations of Jesus her Son.

Program for Pope Benedict’s Visit to Paris and Lourdes

Paris, 12 September 2008

Meeting with representatives from the world of culture at the Collge des Bernardins in Paris

Celebration of Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Greeting to young people gathered in the square in front of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame

Paris, September 13, 2008

Eucharistic Celebration on the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris

Lourdes, 14 September 2008

Eucharistic Celebration on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Prairie

Recitation of the Angelus Domini in the Prairie

Meeting with the French Bishops in the Hemicycle Sainte-Bernadette

Conclusion of the Eucharistic Procession in the Prairie

Lourdes, 15 September 2008

Eucharistic Celebration for the sick in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lourdes

Farewell ceremony at the Airport of Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrnes in Lourdes