ABOUT THE 2020 PILGRIMAGE
The Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage will take place May 12-19, 2020 during the 62nd International Military Pilgrimage (PMI) in Lourdes, France.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS TO LOURDES PILGRIMAGE
Sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Knights of Columbus, the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage takes place each May in Lourdes, France during the International Military Pilgrimage. Non-wounded, wounded, ill or injured military personnel who are selected to attend will travel from the United States and Europe to Lourdes for a time of spiritual renewal. Pilgrimage highlights include an international opening ceremony, special Masses, a visit to the baths at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Unified Sports Challenge and a candlelight vigil that draws tens of thousands of troops to the sacred shrine every year.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY PILGRIMAGE (PMI)
During World War II, members of the French military visited the site of St. Bernadette’s apparitions, offering prayers for peace. In December of 1944, U.S. military personnel joined British, Belgian, French, and Russian military representatives for a Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. After the War, French soldiers and their chaplains invited German soldiers and their chaplains to gather to pray together. The purpose of this initiative was to heal physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds and to reconcile the past between these former adversaries by recognizing their common identity as Christians in search of peace. The first official PMI was celebrated in 1958—13 years after the war and one-hundred years after the apparitions. Today, the PMI continues to take place for one weekend each May, drawing active-duty members and veterans from over 40 nations.
Lourdes is one of the most popular Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the world. It was the location of a series of 19th-century apparitions, during which the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous. During the past 100 years, millions of pilgrims have flocked to the site, with the hope of receiving a special healing and a deepening of faith.
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
The Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, was founded in 1882 by Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest in New Haven, Conn. Counting more than 1.9 million members worldwide, the Knights donated more than $185.7 million and more than 76.7 million hours of service to charitable causes in 2018. Animated by its core principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, the Knights of Columbus has a long history of serving the military.
ABOUT THE ARCHDIOCESE FOR THE MILITARY SERVICES
The Archdiocese for the Military Services was created by Pope John Paul II to provide the Catholic Church's full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces. This includes more than 220 installations in 29 countries, patients in 153 V.A. Medical Centers, and federal employees serving outside the boundaries of the U.S. in134 countries. The AMS is responsible for the spiritual well-being of more than 1.8 million men, women and children.